News | Dec 07 2016

Anthony Joshua: ‘It’s very possible I could have a few more straps round my waist in 2017’

Anthony Joshua performs a public workout in Manchester, writes John Dennen
Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko
Joshua  |  Action Images

ANTHONY JOSHUA performed a public workout with trainer Rob McCracken, a new addition to the IBF heavyweight champion’s corner for Saturday’s title defence against Eric Molina. Joshua hit the pads crisply at the Manchester Arena on Tuesday, keeping his gloves high and looking sharp.

His challenger, Molina solely shadowboxed and insisted he’d trained only to knock out Joshua.

Former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko was once mooted to be the opponent for this fight. Although there wasn’t enough time to finalise that for December 10 it could still take place next year. Speaking to the media after his workout, Joshua recognised he needed not only victory but also a performance against Molina to set up the Klitschko showdown. “I’ve just been working on my own development. So this, I haven’t taken my foot off the pedal. Because it’s probably the fact that even though I’m not fighting Klitschko or a challenger that people may have wanted to see but I’ve still got Molina in front of me, then I’ve got another hurdle next, I’ll have another hurdle so I’ve got to keep myself on the rise,” he said.

“I’m the guy that should beat Klitschko so I’ve got to make sure I perform like the guy that should beat Klitschko. Even though I’m not fighting him, I’ve still got to look good.”

David Haye, who fights Tony Bellew at heavyweight next March, has broadcast his desire to take on Matchroom. Joshua didn’t stray into discussing Haye, merely saying, “I try to keep relevant for what I do in the ring. I don’t really try and stay relevant for all the things I say outside it.”

Looking ahead to 2017, he said, “This time last year I was training for the British title. Now we’re defending [the world]. So hopefully the main thing is three things, being happy, being injury free and still being undefeated… I can’t predict it but it’s very, very possible I could have a few more straps round my waist.”

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