Anthony Joshua is concerned a shock defeat to new opponent Carlos Takam could tarnish his legacy.
The 28-year-old Londoner, unbeaten in 19 fights as a professional, will defend his WBA ‘super’ and IBF heavyweight titles against Takam in Cardiff on October 28, after he was named as a late replacement for the injured Kubrat Pulev.
“In boxing, I think it’s a sport that’s unforgiving in the sense that, if Takam beat me that loss will stay on my record for a lifetime, that will always be in my legacy,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s not ‘oh, he was a world champion and he done well for the sport of boxing. No, no, no he was 19-1 – that’s Anthony’s legacy and I just don’t want that blemish on my record right now.”
France-based Cameroonian Takam (35-3-1) has just one stoppage in 39 fights, while he has knocked out 27 of his opponents.
The champion also revealed how late replacement Takam had forced him to change his sparring routine.
“Takam is already as tough as they come,” said Joshua. “He’s so tough. He just keeps on walking forward and that’s disheartening for a fighter.
“When I’m in there with him, it will be interesting to see how game and ready he is, and what fire he is ready to go through.
“I’ve had some sparring partners that have been coming and trying to knock me out and I’ve had to dig in a bit and give them a few body shots back and so on.
“My inside game has definitely improved, so I think if we have to stand on the inside and start trading off, it will definitely be an entertaining fight for the people watching.
“People have said ‘Joshua what round?’ I think we’re going for a 10 to 12 round here you know. This guy’s head is like a block of cement.”