World heavyweight king Anthony Joshua has outlined his mission since defeating Wladimir Klitschko in April, to take on all comers and keep a firm grip on all the gold.
Questions were raised when the IBF and WBA both called on Joshua to make mandatories in the wake of his impressive Klitschko stoppage, although a deal was worked out to allow Joshua to firstly battle Kubrat Pulev – appeasing the IBF, before facing the WBA’s number one further down the line.
Coming face-to-face with Pulev on Monday ahead of their October 28 battle in Cardiff, Joshua showed little signs of feeling any pressure at now being the division’s top icon.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring, after April 29, question was when is next. I’ve been ticking over, training ever since I let my body recover. I’m looking forward to expressing a different approach to my boxing skills, to show what I learnt from my last fight,” said Joshua.
“It’s about finesse, outclassing your opponents, I can go to war but I can do it at ease as well. Sometimes we have to go to the trenches. It’s about character.”
On what problems Pulev could pose, Joshua added: “It’s always different when you step in the ring, I’m an improved fighter and prepared for the toughest of challengers, it’s not about a statement.
“We haven’t taken the foot off the gas since 2008, championship after championship, it is no problem for me.
“I am honoured to be at the top of the game and be an ambassador for the sport.”
Referring to defending and adding more belts in the future, the 2012 Olympic champion stated: “We are not ducking anyone, we are firing back, I want to keep these belts and I have to face the fighters in my way.
“I’m forever learning and forever improving and each challenge is another hurdle,” said Joshua.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay