Boxing

Anthony Joshua wants high calibre opponents to help cement legacy

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Anthony Joshua has admitted his legacy in the sport will be heavily influenced by the quality of opponents he faces in the ring throughout his career.

The Brit is preparing for a fourth defence of his world heavyweight titles against Bulgaria's Kubrat Pulev at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on October 28 in front of an expected sell-out crowd.

However, this event won't come close to the magnitude of his fight against former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko back in April.

Joshua proved his doubters wrong and stopped the veteran Ukrainian in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in a thrilling victory.

WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder is the biggest fight available to Joshua with fellow Briton Tyson Fury inactive.

The 2012 Olympic gold medallist could also face David Haye if he can win his December 17 rematch with British rival Tony Bellew.

But, in the future, Joshua hopes rivalries can be created and possibly with the likes of his friend and sparring partner Joe Joyce, who makes his professional debut on October 20 vs Tony Yoka.

Frenchman Yoka, who won his professional debut in June, beat Briton Joyce for the 2016 Olympic super-heavyweight gold in Rio.

"It's down to fights," Joshua told reporters.

"If I fight Joe Bloggs, who the bookies may not have put in a position to beat me, but he ends up putting up one hell of a fight, that takes his stock up and it creates that type of Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier rivalry, that trilogy.

"You have to remember Frazier, Ali, Foreman were gold medalists, they were all peak level fighters of the era, and they all came together and ended up fighting each other.

"It seems we don't have that right now but Joe Joyce has just turned pro and Yoka. So there's a new wave coming through. In three years as a pro I've managed to catch the attentions of the division and I will definitely give all these guys the opportunity to come and challenge for the belt.

"People might say Pulev is an easy fight but he might come and put me in a place I haven't been before that I didn't expect maybe.

"It might be a barnstorming fight. You just never know what's going to happen. I'm creating my own pathway, I don't need anyone.

"I'm just happy going at my own pace, it's not a sprint, it's a career. I've got another 10 years in the game and I can't fight everyone by next year, it's just not possible."

It is safe to say, Joshua is looking for high calibre opposition to establish an historic rivalry in the heavyweight division 

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Topics:
Boxing
David Haye
Floyd Mayweather
Manny Pacquiao

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