World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has described a return to London’s Wembley Stadium for the latest defence of his title belts in front of a home crowd on Saturday as “a blessing”.
The 28-year-old Londoner will put his World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organisation titles on the line against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin.
“Coming back is a blessing — it’s time to put on a performance,” said Joshua at a Wembley news conference on Thursday.
The fight promises to be Joshua’s toughest bout since his thrilling stoppage of former champion Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in April last year.
Joshua comes into Saturday’s contest having won all 21 of his professional bouts, although his last fight, against New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in Cardiff in March, saw him go the distance for the first time as a pro before he secured a unanimous points decision.
Povetkin, 39, served notice of his punching power on the undercard of that bout, with a sickening knockout of Britain’s David Price.
Joshua said he also respects Povetkin’s heart and speed, with the only blemish on the Russian’s 35-fight record a 2013 points defeat by Klitschko.