Anthony Joshua has told himself “don’t be cautious” as he plans a return to his explosive best.
Joshua is ready to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight gold against Alexander Povetkin on September 22, after being taken the distance for the first time in his previous outing against Joseph Parker.
“Go in there, and have fun – don’t be cautious because it’s ruining my aggressive style,” Joshua said to US media on a DAZN conference call on Monday night.
“Go out there and take out Povetkin, like I would do with any other opponent.
“How will I approach it? Maybe I will box and keep it simple. Maybe I might keep a tight guard and go pound-for-pound, trade-for-trade.
“The reason I say that is because I’m versatile. I can keep it long or slug it out. It depends what I analyse from my opponent. I analyse them punch by punch and I switch up my style as the rounds go on.”
Joshua said his performance against Parker was affected by the possibility of next fighting Deontay Wilder, who now plans to face Tyson Fury.
But eschewing thoughts of his opponent for April 13, when a return to Wembley Stadium is already scheduled, means he can return to his brutal best against Povetkin.
“He could swing a sweet left hook, boom, lights out,” Joshua said. “History changes. That’s enough pressure in itself because you know the backlash that it comes with.
“I look at his Marco Huck fight, his David Price fight. Povetkin fights differently in all of his fights.
“He really wanted to prove himself [against Wladimir Klitschko] but then look at his fight with Christian Hammer – it was a 12-round breeze.
“In terms of talent, we’re dealing with an Olympic gold medallist and a world title challenger with one loss to the all-time great Wladimir Klitschko.
“The heavyweight division is a puncher’s game. One punch can change the course of history so that’s what keeps my eyes on the prize.
“Like ‘snakes and ladders’ – one foot wrong and you slide back down to the bottom of the pecking order.”
Former WBA ‘regular’ champion Povetkin, 39, has 24 knockouts from his 34 wins and most recently stopped Price on the Joshua vs Parker undercard.