Boxing

Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker - Press Conference.

Anthony Joshua reveals how his professional debut is preparing him for Joseph Parker

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It seems 2018 could be an historic year for Anthony Joshua if all things go to plan for him.

Currently sitting on a record of 20 knockout victories from 20 fights, Joshua faces Joseph Parker on March 31 in Cardiff, intending to unify another belt in the heavyweight division.

AJ currently holds the IBF and WBA world titles, as well as the unrecognised IBO belt, and puts all three on the line against the Kiwi, who is the current WBO champion.

If he overcomes Parker, as expected, he is likely to meet WBC champion Deontay Wilder, whose records stands at a phenomenal 39-0 with 38 knockouts.

That would make him the undisputed heavyweight champion, and after a rematch has assumingly taken place, Tyson Fury would be the next man in line, in what would more than likely be the biggest fight in British boxing history.

It's hard to believe that Joshua went from Olympic gold medalist to world champion in less than four years, and it shows the sheer power he possesses that he has blitzed through all of his opponents.

And despite his success, the 28-year-old is keeping grounded, and has revealed how his professional debut still motivates him and prepares him today.

Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker - Press Conference

AJ says that when he was making his debut against Emanuele Leo in 2013, it wasn't the right time for him to turn professional, especially just a year after taking gold in London.

But his win-at-all-costs mentality pushed him through, and he is using the exact same belief ahead of his meeting with Parker in the Welsh capital.

WATCH: Anthony Joshua's debut victory against Emanuele Leo

"It took me a year to turn pro, I was an amateur for three years, I went from fighting at my local club, to competing on the world stage, to competing at the Olympics in the space of three years," Joshua explained on Road to Undisputed with JD Sports.

"So when I turned pro, I knew it wasn't the right time, but I knew there wasn't a better time as I'd just competed in the Olympics.

"It was the fear of getting it wrong, so there was that added pressure of 'I can't afford to lose here,' and I feel I have that mentality until today."

Anthony Joshua v Carlos Takam -  World Heavyweight Title Fight

Joshua also paid tribute to his promoter Eddie Hearn for the role he's played in building his profile and success.

Hearn was patient with his fighter, despite the clear potential, and AJ explained how the Matchroom boss managed to develop him more quickly.

"Early on in your professional career, the promoter will always give you fights that will build you up and build up your confidence and I thought that would keep me under the radar," he said. "But that wasn't the case.

Boxing at O2

"He was feeding me out to different places in the country, building my profile. It's kind of fast-tracked my journey to where it is now.

"If I didn't make the mistakes I made, I think that shapes you as a person, that's what I try and tell myself, 'you know what, you're going to make some mistakes and do some good things, but even in the bad, don't take it to heart, just keep rolling with the punches because it's going to be a tough journey."

Given his knockout power, and particularly his gold medal, Hearn was never going to be able to keep Joshua under wraps for long.

His profile is now global, and you can only imagine how that will grow if he defeats everyone in his way this year.

If he achieves his dream of being the undisputed heavyweight champion, you would be hard pushed to disagree that he will go down as one of the best fighters boxing has ever seen.

Topics:
Tyson Fury
Heavyweight
Anthony Joshua
Boxing

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