WBA, IBF and WBO title holder Anthony Joshua will touch gloves with Russian powerhouse Alexander Povetkin on 22 September at Wembley Stadium before hopefully facing WBC champion Deontay Wilder next year in April.
Fight fans have been made to wait for the Wilder clash but in Povetkin, Joshua must overcome a man who also holds an Olympic gold medal, and has 24 knockouts from 35 fights, with his only loss coming from Wladimir Klitschko five years ago.
Povetkin possesses a highly skilled boxing mind and uses a blend of accuracy and power to KO his opponents to devastating effect. His brutality and power were on full-show back in March when he sent David Price to sleep in the fifth round with a crushing left hook.
AJ has watched Povetkin’s last outing against Price back and has identified that left hook as a key weapon to try and avoid.
“In terms of that performance, you can see he knows how to knock someone out,” Joshua told Sky Sports.
“He’s got a great left hook. Triple left hook sometimes, he throws. So basically he showed that he knows how to knock someone out.
“I showed that night that I know how to go 12 rounds (against Joseph Parker).”
Joshua was taken the distance for the first time in his career by Parker but has vowed to get back to his old fighting style which saw him KO his first 20 opponents as a professional.
“Parker survived, no disrespect to him, but he went onto the back foot,” Joshua continued.
“I boxed smartly because I thought I was fighting Deontay Wilder next so I didn’t get involved. Now, I’ve had time to reflect on my performance, I think I’ll go back to the old me.
“No worries about who is next. I’ll go in guns blazing!”
Povetkin has held a version of the WBA heavyweight belt and the 38-year-old won an Olympic gold medal eight years before Joshua emulated his achievement at London 2012.
Joshua added: "Povetkin is a gold medalist, has unbelievable pedigree, and has come through the pro rankings very well. I’ve watched him for a long time.
“He is one of the best fighters on my record. He has a style I enjoy competing with, and I have no problem with - left hooks, right hands, defending and countering, boxing at range.
“I know Alex can box – there’s no doubt – but in terms of his style – solid base, gravity under his feet, swinging hooks versus someone with an English style. It makes for a great fight. We will gel for an interesting match-up.
“What do I have to do to beat him? Just be confident and believe in myself.”News Now - Sport News