Exclusive: Anthony Joshua v Deontay Wilder could be a year away – Sky Boxing Chief

Joe Hewlett 30/03/2018

Adam Smith is expecting a leaner, quicker and improved version of Anthony Joshua ahead of Saturday’s unification clash with Joseph Parker.

The Brit will make a second successive return to the Principality Stadium following his previous win against Carlos Takam.

Despite the Phil Edwards halting the fight in the tenth round, it was a much flatter performance by Joshua compared to his triumph over Wladimir Klitschko.

But the Head of Sky Boxing believes Joshua will be hitting all the right notes this weekend.

“Takam came at ten days’ notice and there are reasons for that flat performance. Anthony doesn’t need motivation ahead of this fight, he’ll always be in terrific shape regardless of whether he’s fighting me, Eddie or yourself,” he exclusively told World Boxing News.

“The threat of Takam causing the upset was minimal so you can understand the slight change of mental attitude. He also let his weight go too high which was something me and Johnny had an argument about the night before. We had a big clash the night before, he weighed 18st 2lbs for the Takam fight which I thought was way too heavy for a man of his size and they’ve slimmed him down for this fight.

“They’ve changed his training regime to training in the day instead of night which I think is a good thing.

“He’ll always be up for big fights and defending your world title or whoever he fights at this level, Joshua is a very bright guy. He’s studied the pitfall of these guys like Tyson with how they lost their money and Lewis when he came unstuck for not preparing 100% for every fight. Lennox would admit himself he didn’t prepare for the Hasim Rahman fight in many ways.

“If Anthony does eventually lose, it’ll be because he was beaten by the better man rather than lack of motivation.

“It’s a fight that is right for both, Joshua and Parker. It’s a fight where two undefeated guys, plenty of belts on the line, a unification and both are very dangerous heavyweights.

“It’d be incredible if Joshua, Parker or Wilder could hold all those four belts but we’re still a while from this moment.

“If Joshua wins it could take another year to get ‘AJ’ and Wilder in the ring. I would hope by some time in 2019 we could have an ‘undisputed undisputed’ world champion.”

Sky Sports Box Office will exclusively show the Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker unification fight on 31 March. Available to buy now at https://www.sky.com/boxoffice.

Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95