Anthony Joshua is viewing Alexander Povetkin as the ‘biggest pressure fight of his career’ and did not even watch Tyson Fury’s recent win, says his promoter Eddie Hearn.
The unified world champion has paid little attention to his heavyweight rivals during another stringent training camp for his next title defence against WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium on September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Negotiations for a unification fight against WBC champion Deontay Wilder have broken down, with the American instead attending Fury’s points win over Francesco Pianeta to issue a challenge, but Joshua has shunned speculation about his own future plans as he prepares for Povetkin.
“His frame of mind is really, really focused,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “I don’t think he’s taking a lot of interest in the outside world around this fight, because he knows what’s at stake.
“Obviously people have told him he might be fighting [the winner of] Fury-Wilder, but he’s just going to concentrate on what we’re doing.
“I think, he thinks this is the toughest fight of his career, because of what’s around, what people are talking about beyond this. I think this is the biggest pressure fight of his career so far.
“If I was Povetkin, I would be loving what’s happening.
The normal man would say “How can AJ be in the right frame of mind right now to fight Povetkin, when all this is going on around him?”
Everyone is talking about this, asking questions about this, it’s very tough for him.”
Wilder joined Fury in the ring to announce their intention to fight, with a date and venue to be announced, but Hearn revealed that Joshua was unaware of his British rival’s victory in Belfast.
“I said to him, ‘Did you watch that?’ and he said ‘What?’
“It was later that night and I said ‘The Fury fight?’ He said ‘No, what happened?’
“He’s so focused on this camp, because he knows about Povetkin. People in boxing know about Povetkin. Anyone you ask in boxing goes: ‘It’s a tough fight.’
“I don’t think he’s in the mood to be thinking about other stuff, talking about other stuff, outside of Povetkin.”