AJ weight must provide ‘speed & size’

Anthony Joshua’s weigh-in result must blend “speed and size” to nullify Alexander Povetkin, says promoter Eddie Hearn.

The IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Joshua will go face to face with his challenger for the final time before they fight at Friday’s weigh-in, where he is likely to be approximately one stone heavier.

Joshua was a career-heaviest 114.3kg against Carlos Takam last year but trimmed down to 109.7kg in his last fight against Joseph Parker.

Asked if Joshua would prioritise speed or size against Povetkin, Hearn told Sky Sports: “He needs a bit of both. Against Parker he wanted speed, and against Takam he wanted size.

“Now he needs both. He needs the speed to beat Povetkin to the punch and the bulk to absorb what will come back.

“Povetkin is very strong and very bullish. AJ has to use his size to push him back, but also needs to use his speed because Povetkin is not slow.”

Russia’s Povetkin, who has just one defeat in 35 fights, weighed-in at 101.6kg for his most recent victory over David Price – nearly a 6.3kg lighter than Joshua’s most recent measurements.

“He’s one of the lightest heavyweights but that means he has speed,” Joshua said on Thursday. “I spar cruiserweights like Lawrence Okolie who is fast and sharp.

“His strengths? I work alongside people who have the same strengths.”