IT would be hard to tell whether Anthony Joshua is weighed down by the hefty burden of expectation upon his shoulders.
He meets Kevin Johnson on January 31 in the O2 Arena in London and the two came head-to-head this week to promote the fight.
More than 6,000 tickets have been sold for a fight that is eight weeks away.
Johnson offered Joshua a wager, that the loser pays half his purse to a charity of the winner’s choice.
Joshua declined, not only because he does his own charity work away from the spotlight but refusing to give Johnson any inclination that he was calling any shots.
Joshua, unflustered, simply called it “Staying professional.”
He also sees the fight as a win-win in the sense that Johnson, durable but faded, will either give him rounds or allow him to make a statement by becoming the first man to stop him.
“If he’s never been stopped it doesn’t mean he’s going to be, does it?” he asks rhetorically. “It should be a tough sparring session.
“It’s a win-win, with the odds against me if I lose obviously but as a fighter you don’t think about that. If I stop him, wow, I’ve ticked a box, let’s move on. And if I don’t I’ve got rounds under my belt.”