Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua discussed a predicted weight drop for his forthcoming battle with Joseph Parker.
‘AJ’ has been the subject of continued speculation regarding a significantly reduced scaling for Friday, but stated in the build-up he wasn’t paying too much attention to his current weight.
“Let’s say 17.5, 17.4 (stone). You’ve got to remember with this weight nonsense, no fighter should go into training camp focusing on their weight. This isn’t Weight Watchers and nobody should focus on their weight as such,” said Joshua.
“But I do feel that your weight has to adapt to the style of fighter you’re facing. With Carlos Takam, he was a shorter fighter. He came in on the inside and ended up head-butting me so I knew I had to kind of be able to lean on Takam and tire him out. I knew he was going to move a lot.
“This wasn’t going to be a Kubrat Pulev type of fight where I’m going to be jabbing or counter punching. I was going to be sitting on top of Takam and working into the body so the weight played a good role. But now, I’m fighting someone like Parker who’s a lot quicker and moves a lot more.
“I have to make sure I’m lighter on my feet so I’ve adjusted to the style of fighter I’m fighting. I haven’t adjusted my weight for any other reason than the type of fighter I’m going to be facing.
“I’m 20-0, I’m unified champ, muscle or not, I’m still handling business. I feel like people try to find anything to steer your mind from what’s working. I’m winning, racking up wins and it’s been going well. I wouldn’t focus on anything else than what’s working.”
Opening up in his previous win over Takam, whilst also discussing Parker’s victory over Hughie Fury, Joshua added: “I won every round. I got head-butted. I couldn’t breathe through my nose.
“I realize that Takam was a late step in so I was preparing for someone completely different. So, what I decided to do with Carlos is just go through the motions because I realize 2018 was a massive year in terms of unifying with Joseph Parker and then potentially facing Deontay Wilder providing I win to become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
“So, my game plan with Takam was don’t be too explosive and don’t take too many risks. Make sure I dominate Takam and I win every round and that’s kind of how things panned out.”
And Parker?: “You’ve got to look at Parker when he boxes on the front and the back foot. There’s two significant changes. When he boxes on the front foot, I think he finds it difficult to land combinations because I just think he struggled a bit against Fury when he was dancing on the edge of the ring.
“But when he fights people like Takam on his back foot, he’s better. I just think he really struggled with Fury when he was coming forward. I do think he won. I do think Joseph Parker won.
“We’re both in a position to show how great we are and why we’re real contenders in the division. That’s all it’s about now. March 31,” said the Londoner.