While some fear Joshua’s Wembley Stadium date this weekend has come too early, he believes it is his destiny to take such a huge step up in class
ANTHONY JOSHUA says he has answered a call of duty by accepting his world-title showdown with Wladimir Klitschko.
While a potential £15million payday will doubtless have helped, Britain’s IBF champ says he is giving the heavyweight division the shot in the arm it needs by agreeing to a mega-fight so early in his career.
On fight night minus three, Joshua and 41-year-old Klitschko turned out for a public workout at Wembley Arena — giving a couple of thousand locals the chance to get up close and personal, to smell the sweat and leather.
And while some fear Joshua’s Wembley Stadium date with Dr Steelhammer has come too early, the Londoner believes it is his destiny to take such a huge step up in class.
Joshua said: “It was bound to happen. I felt the division needed it. I’m not doing it just for myself. I’m always about the industry.
“Wladimir Klitschko, WBC champion Deontay Wilder, let’s keep it going.
“Let’s start mixing it up because we’re in the same division.
“What type of era are we if we don’t come together and have some trilogies and bring some excitement?”
The 90,000 tickets sold out almost instantly for what will be the best-attended and richest fight ever on British soil — meaning there is no need for 27-year-old AJ to indulge in any fake trash-talking before the third defence of the crown he won only a year ago.
Joshua said: “Globally, this fight is massive. Also, to sell out the stadium without having to do the traditional entertainment to make a fight just shows that kids can fight from different backgrounds.
“Where me and Klitschko are at, we don’t need to be trash-talking.
NOT JOSHING AROUND
When is Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko, how can I get tickets and can I watch it on TV?
Who is on the Joshua-Klitschko undercard and what time does the action start at Wembley Stadium?
Anthony Joshua set for £15MILLION payday in record breaking Wembley megafight with Wladimir Klitschko
ON THE MONEY
Floyd Mayweather produces hilarious response after Liam Walsh tells him: ‘No man is unbeatable’
Tyson Fury reveals he IS back in training and is having a stripper party with boxing pal Billy Joe Saunders
AJ wobbled him
Anthony Joshua’s former coach reveals what REALLY happened when he sparred heavyweight king Tyson Fury
I’M THE GREATEST
Lennox Lewis believes Anthony Joshua can become a British boxing great – but insists AJ will never be as good as he was
Generous Anthony Joshua thanks his first boxing coach Sean Murphy by giving him £95,000 personalised BMW
WEIGHT NEARLY OVER
When is the Joshua-Klitschko weigh-in, what happens when you miss the weight in boxing and can a fighter go over or under the weight?
Anthony Joshua backed to beat Wladimir Klitschko… by Ukrainian’s close pal and boxing trainer Freddie Roach
How much will Anthony Joshua earn from bout with Wladimir Klitschko and what is his net worth?
Anthony Joshua and his mum reveal what the heavyweight world champ was REALLY like as a child
Josh the ticket
Who is Anthony Joshua? IBF heavyweight champ who went from drugs conviction to boxing glory
ON THE MONEY
Will Conor McGregor fight Floyd Mayweather, how much money would be at play and who would win?
What is Floyd Mayweather’s net worth and how much would he earn from a fight with Conor McGregor?
HEAVYWEIGHT YOUR TURN
Tony Bellew warns Tyson Fury their fight could happen if dethroned Gypsy King keeps calling him out
“I knew the significance of this fight before I took it. I’d never put that pressure upon myself if I didn’t want to deal with it.
“But I want to fight guys in the division who are good. I don’t want to wait like eight, nine years before I start making a move on the division — let’s get it on now.
“So if this is what comes with stepping up a level, I’m all for it.
“It’s destiny. I’m meant for this. I’m built for this.
“Let’s say we strip away all the excitement, the hype and just put us together. Go at it for 12 rounds, get down and dirty.
“I don’t look at it like ‘Oh my God. I’m fighting a guy who has been through it’.
“I just look at it as ‘I’m fighting this guy called Wladimir Klitschko’ and we’ve got 12 rounds.”
AJ finished his eight-week training camp in Sheffield and headed to the capital yesterday, where legendary MC Michael Buffer got his vocal cords warmed up for Saturday by introducing the local hero to his public last night.
But even as he prepared for the fight of his life, he had one eye on the future — and the possibility of conquering the US market.
Joshua added: “America is the mecca of boxing. If we can cross over to the States and keep the fan base in the UK, we’ve cracked it.
“All I have to do is get out there, show them what my trade is and, hopefully, they’ll appreciate it and, hopefully, we can start talking about setting up major fights. That would be phenomenal.”