Unbeaten boxing heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will face Carlos Takam wishing he was a stone heavier but nevertheless reckons he will defeat his opponent to continue the remarkable upward trajectory of his career.
Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed last week that Joshua could be up to a stone lighter when he steps on the scales for Friday’s weigh-in, although the WBA ‘super’ and IBF title holder says his new-look leaner physique might not be ideal for the physical demands posed by Takam.
“With his style and his strength, I wish I came in heavier, so we could just stand there and slug it out with each other,” said Joshua ahead of Saturday’s bout in front of 78,000 fans at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
“His punches are going to be ricocheting through my body, so the bigger you are, the stronger you are, but why I came in lighter, I thought I was fighting Pulev, a real amateur style boxer. Jab with him and match his speed.
“This is a completely different style of fighter, so maybe I might have come in a bit heavier if I knew I was fighting Takam. But nevertheless we are here, I’m looking at myself in the best condition I am, and I’ll put on the best performance in this condition I am.”
The 28-year old admits he is still improving as a world champion but believes he can enjoy a lengthy reign at the top, if he remains dedicated to the sport.
“I can’t be perfect. I am who I am,” Joshua told Sky Sports News. “I have managed to become heavyweight champion of the world and who I am, I can present myself as the person I am today, with a project and vision of improving myself for the future.
“Providing I stay disciplined in my sport, you’ll hear of me for the next 10 years, and I’ll definitely progress as a person, and that’s what it’s about.
“This isn’t who I am today. I may make a mistake, but I’ll correct it in the future, and that’s what being a champion is about. If life was perfect and simple, people wouldn’t be able to relate to me.”
Unification fights against WBC champion Deontay Wilder and WBO king Joseph Parker are thought to be part of Joshua’s plans and he intends to set-up another significant year in his career.
Joshua said: “If we are putting on a great fight, people are saying ‘can he beat him’, ‘he definitely can beat him’, or ‘that fight will be a good fight’. ‘Parker is a bit smaller, that’s going to be a real good dust-up, if it’s like the Takam fight’.
“There are so many questions to be answered, but all surrounds Saturday night in a weird way.
“I just need to make sure obviously I win, but if I can do it in good fashion, then the stock keeps high and we look forward to a spectacular 2018.”