Britain’s world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will be over a stone heavier than his veteran Russian opponent Alexander Povetkin when he defe
Britain’s world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will be over a stone heavier than his veteran Russian opponent Alexander Povetkin when he defends his title at Wembley today.
Joshua — whose International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association(WBA) and World Boxing Organisation(WBO) titles will be on the line — weighed in yesterday at 17 stone 8 pounds (111.5 kilogrammes), whilst 39-year-old Povetkin tipped the scales at 15st 12lbs.
Joshua, 28, admitted to feeling under “tons of pressure” as he returns to the scene of arguably his greatest triumph, an 11th-round stoppage of former champion Wladimir Klitschko last year.
Joshua, the 2012 Olympic champion in London, comes into today’s contest — with 80,000 spectators expected — 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, like Joshua a former Olympic champion with his moment of glory coming in Athens in 2004, served notice of his punching power on the undercard of that bout, with a sickening knockout of Britain’s David Price.
The only blemish on the Russian’s 35-fight record is a 2013 points defeat by Klitschko.
Also after engaging in an icy final stare-down, Alexander Povetkin is feeling “no pressure” ahead of today’s heavyweight clash with Anthony Joshua.
Povetkin cut a relaxed and confident figure at the weigh-in with little concern about coming in the much lighter man.
“It’s a very comfortable and good weight for me, I feel great,” he said, via a translator.
“I didn’t see anything in his [Joshua’s] eyes. I have prepared for speed and power.
“I’m very calm, I feel no pressure and am very happy about this fight taking place so soon.
“It’s very pleasant for me to see fans of mine here in England rooting for me.
“I don’t make predictions, it will be an interesting and thrilling fight.”
Despite the sizeable weight advantage, unified champion Joshua insists he is agile enough to bring up his 22nd professional victory.
“He’s going to be quick, going to be fast, so I’ll put on my dancing shoes and be fast with my feet,” Joshua told Sky Sports.
“I’m a physical, strong guy, who knows how to box,” said Povetkin.