Artículo

Joshua v Povetkin: No need for fireworks on AJ´s Wembley return

21 septiembre 2018 13:00

As is often the case in fight week with world titles on the line, all is not quite as it seems.

Challenger Alexander Povetkin is a 39-year-old adrenaline junkie who would celebrate an upset win by treating himself to a parachute jump.

Meanwhile, the unified champion – a man 11 years his junior – has been mulling stage-of-life issues.

"I've got to the stage where [I think] what do I live for?" IBF, WBA and WBO king Anthony Joshua told reporters. "What am I doing? Who am I impressing? I'm in the gym. You get to a mid-life crisis and you just don't care no more. It's one of those things.

"And then you know what it's like when you're younger; I want to be heavyweight champion of the world. You become it and you think it is going to change your whole life, but I've realised it doesn't.

"I'm just still sitting here, small room, content with my flat and I just hit a wall where I was like: 'you know what, I just don't care anymore'.

"This is my life, I have got to stick with it and that's probably why I haven't bothered to cut my hair because I have got nothing to cut it for."

Coiffure issues aside, Joshua looks in typically imposing physical shape as he prepares to take on a a fellow former Olympic champion who has lost just once in 35 fights.

Povetkin's loss was to Wladimir Klitschko, who famously came close to dethroning Joshua in a Wembley epic 17 months ago. It was the night the Briton became a superstar, climbing from the canvas and riding out a mid-fight crisis to separate the great Ukrainian from his senses with a thunderous 11th-round uppercut.

Stadium extravaganzas are Joshua's new normal. He returns to England's national stadium having bested Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker in front of 80,000 fans in Cardiff.

We saw a new side to the knockout machine last time out as he added Parker's WBO strap to his collection. Joshua controlled the range with improved footwork that nullified the New Zealander's speed, seeing out the championship distance for the first time. 

By the time a unanimous decision win was announced in the Welsh capital, public demand was already pulling in another direction. Now it was time for motormouth WBC king Deontay Wilder. All of the belts.

Negotiations between Joshua and Wilder's camps proved fractious, increasingly embittered and frustrating. Step forward a certain Tyson Fury.

The undefeated former champion and Wilder are poised to announce a date and venue for their end-of-year showdown and have been able to trade from the position of giving the public what they want, while Joshua deals with a smaller, aging foe who has served a doping ban.

Fury's two comeback bouts have proved pitiful spectacles and, with nothing to lose, he was always going to prove an easier negotiation for Wilder. But in tandem they have won the PR battle and will loom over Joshua's weekend work.

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