Joshua to channel 'trench' mindset

LONDON • Britain's Anthony Joshua said he is looking forward to showcasing the lessons he learnt from his stunning win over Wladimir Klitschko when he puts his world heavyweight title on the line next month.

Joshua, 27, will face his International Boxing Federation (IBF) mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria under a closed roof at Cardiff's Principality Stadium on Oct 28, after his hopes of a Las Vegas rematch with Klitschko were ended by the Ukrainian's retirement.

Joshua won the brutal Wembley clash in April by an 11th-round stoppage after being knocked down earlier in the fight.

He has won all his 19 bouts to date but he still intends to draw on that memorable contest.

"What I went through in my last fight was a new experience," he told reporters in Cardiff. "I want to show what I have learnt from that.

"It is about finesse and outclassing your opponents but if I need to go to war, I will go to war.

"I'm prepared to go into the trenches. But sometimes I can be smart and wise and take an opponent out without taking too much punishment."

Pulev, 36, lost his only previous world title fight to Klitschko inside five rounds in November 2014.

Joshua, who is also the WBA (World Boxing Association) heavyweight champion, says he is taking nothing for granted ahead of the fourth defence of his IBF title.

"I learnt that sometimes you can watch a million videos of your opponent and prepare for something," Joshua added. "But it is always different in the ring."

Pulev (25-1) said Joshua should be wary of street-fighting skills he learnt in his native Sofia.

"It is not just the ring where I am experienced," Pulev said. "I have experience on the streets as well, which is another advantage."

Asked if they were frightening experiences, Pulev replied: "Maybe for my opponents, yes, it was very scary, but for me it was okay."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2017, with the headline 'Joshua to channel 'trench' mindset'. Print Edition | Subscribe