Anthony Joshua is ready to go to “war” for his fans when he defends his WBA and IBF heavyweight titles against Carlos Takam this weekend.
A riveting win against Wladimir Klitschko earlier this year, which saw both fighters floored before the Brit clinched a 11th-round stoppage win, thrilled 90,000 fans inside Wembley.
Around 70,000 expected to cram under the roof of Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Saturday night and Joshua knows what they are craving as he addressed a boisterous crowd that came to see him at his public workout in the Welsh capital.
“I think that’s why everyone’s here because they want to see fights like that again,” he told Sky Sports. “We’re going to have a war, we’re going to wear our hearts on our sleeve, this is what fighting’s about.
“With me it isn’t about all this other stuff that goes on outside the ring, I think when people come to watch me box they know that they’re going to have a good time, they know they’re going to see knockouts, they’re going to see a bit of blood.
“We have to deliver. They know what they want, I know what they want and it’s my duty to deliver. I’ve never been nervous about fighting but I think this stadium’s going to be different.
“There’s a closed roof, I know that the energy, the atmosphere’s going to be bouncing up and down off the roof and it’s going to be nothing like before.
“I could talk about a million things I’ve been working on – where I’m at mentally – but it has to show Saturday night, that’s what’s important.”
Joshua has been pitted against Takam (35-3-1, 27KO wins) after original opponent and mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev pulled out a couple of weeks ago due to a shoulder injury suffered during sparring.
Cameroon-born Takam, shorter yet rangier than Pulev, has been on standby for a number of weeks and Joshua is not underestimating the threat he poses.
He added: “Credit to Carlos Takam: a true athlete who stays fit all year round, he’s not someone who trains for a fight, he seems to keep himself conditioned.
“What would I do, would I give up the IBF belt? Hell no, I worked too hard for it. Carlos Takam was training for a fight abroad, he stepped in for this fight, he’s ready, this is his chance to become heavyweight champion of the world.”
Source: Alex Young| ES