December 9, 2016
December 9, 2016
Anthony Joshua tickets

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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ANTHONY JOSHUA calmly carried out his media duties on Thurday, two days before he fights America’s Eric Molina at the Manchester Arena for the second defence of his IBF heavyweight title.

Molina is the last the barrier between Joshua and some major heavyweight showdowns. “I need to win. It’s a good thing because obviously it means I’m not overlooking him because, as you said, it’s the final hurdle to big fights some people have been waiting to see. But you know every fight is a big fight because every fight could be the end. So I make sure I’m not complacent,” he told Boxing News. “It’s nearly there now, not long to go, what can I say? I’m not focusing on that though. I’ve got to focus on Molina.”

David Haye has demanded his right for a shot at Anthony Joshua, complaining that the IBF champion hasn’t been mentioning his name for a reason, to avoid him. It’s worth noting though that for as long as Joshua has been a professional boxer, David hasn’t been a world titlist. It’s natural that Anthony has been taking aim at Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Wladimir Klitschko. “He hasn’t been a champion, he hasn’t boxed, he’s been injured,” Joshua points out.

Joshua is close to securing a mega-fight with Wladimir Klitschko to unify the WBA and IBF titles. It’s richly anticipated and Joshua, who will have had less than 20 fights and limited professional rounds himself, insists he is ready. “When opportunity presents itself you have to grab it with two hands. Providing I beat someone like Molina, what do I do then? Do I fight Dillian [Whyte] again? Do I fight someone like [David] Price? Or do I take the opportunity to fight Klitschko? I think that’s a tougher, more credible win, go with that option I think. He’s interested so I think that makes sense for me. It makes sense. It’s not about when because I think we’ll fight everyone. It’s just if it makes sense for us,” Joshua explained.

Klitschko should be watching from ringside on Saturday. “Probably I’ll say something [to him]. We’ll probably have some words,” Joshua mused.

This contest against Molina will be meaningful for him, to prepare Joshua for that big step forward. “Every fight’s different. I’m not boxing Molina as I’d box Klitschko. Every fight’s different, but I’ll box Molina to lead me on to someone like Klitschko,” Anthony continued. “It’s just the fact that Molina’s had notable wins. He’s had notable wins and he’s tough.

“You need as many learning fights as possible because when an opportunity like Klitschko presents itself, you best hope you’ve taken all your time in the ring and learned something because you need it all in a fight like that.”