Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Anthony Joshua: “It is a special occasion to watch a heavyweight championship fight among 1,000 people when normally there would be tens of thousands of people”; AJ fights Kubrat Pulev on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Last Updated: 08/12/20 2:56pm
Anthony Joshua snarled that he has focused on training his “brain more so than my body” in his first appearance in the days leading up to his world heavyweight title defence.
Joshua’s IBF, WBA and WBO championships are at stake against Kubrat Pulev on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office, and both boxers are now in ‘the bubble’ as the intensity builds.
Joshua, cloaked in a mask and a hood, told Sky Sports News upon arrival: “My body is just a vessel that carries my brain so I train my brain more so than my body.
“I’m ready for war. I’m ready for a fight. The time will come when we go to war. I’m looking forward to that date.
“It’s a privilege to be competing.”
For the first time since boxing’s resumption in the UK, 1,000 fans will be in attendance on Saturday to watch Joshua’s first fight since avenging his defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr.
“How strange? It’s out of my control so I have to keep it normal,” Joshua said about the unique environment that awaits him.
“I like it, it will be intimate. It’s nice for the fans. It is a special occasion to watch a heavyweight championship fight among 1,000 people when normally there would be tens of thousands of people.”
Joshua was supposed to trade punches with Kubrat Pulev in October 2017 – this is the story of the build-up and the fallout to a fight that didn’t happen.
“I’ve just got the call. I couldn’t say a word about it, of course.”
Anthony Joshua had perfected his brutal tactics for Kubrat Pulev three years ago, but then came a phone call…
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) December 8, 2020
Fabio Wardley said about sparring the world heavyweight champion: “I was quite surprised that for someone of his size, of how light he was on his feet. How fluid he was, getting in and out of range.
“I’ve sparred a lot of big guys and I’m usually the quicker on my feet, and I can usually get in and out. He kind of matched me for that a lot, which I was very impressed by.”