By: Hans Themistode
With one look at the huge muscles and impressive physique, it’s easy tell just how hard unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua works on his body. With only a few days left until he puts his titles on the line against perennial contender Kubrat Pulev, Joshua, still possessing muscles that protrude from every part of his body, revealed that the focal point of his training camp had nothing to do with perfecting his monumental frame.
“My body is just a vessel that carries my brain so I trained my brain more so than my body,” said Joshua during a recent interview. “I’m ready war, I’m ready for a fight. I’m looking forward to it.”
Joshua, like many others, was forced to sit patiently on the sidelines as COVID-19 continued to turn the world upside down. The time away may have allowed him to press the reset button but it will have been just over one year since he has last competed in the ring. That of course, came in Saudi Arabia against Andy Ruiz Jr.
After losing to Ruiz Jr. six months prior, Joshua walked into his immediate rematch for the first time in approximately five years without any heavyweight titles strapped around his waist. That however, wouldn’t last long as Joshua pummeled Ruiz Jr. to win those belts back. There was nothing fun about losing his titles in June of 2019. With that being said, being the challenger for a change was something that he thoroughly enjoyed. So much so that he has decided to adopt that mindset for his matchup against Pulev as well.
“I’m just more motivated than him,” said Joshua as he spoke on a daily DAZN show on SiriusXM. “I know that this is everything to me, this performance, this fight is. I feel like I’m fighting for the title, but I’m more experienced. I feel like – I don’t know how to explain it – I feel like I’m a challenger coming in to fight the champion. But I know I’ve done everything I can possible to make sure I get this win, and I’m willing to go in deep waters. So, whatever Pulev brings to the table, I hope I make it look easy because I’m that well prepared.”
With eight straight wins under his belt, Pulev hasn’t tasted defeat since his first title shot against Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. Although Joshua has been busy focusing on his own career, he’s kept a close eye on Pulev for quite some time now. The manner in which he has strung together those wins has forced Joshua to consider him a real threat. Talk coming from those backing Pulev to win via stoppage won’t receive any pushback from Joshua. Instead, an annoyed smile comes across his face.
For the British native, the trash talk is perfectly fine with him. In turn, he simply complements his opponent before offering his own warning.
“I’m just looking at it like Pulev is great. He’s got good balance, he’s [got] a very European style, he’s got a great jab, and he wants to be a bully. I’ve seen him in fights with Wladimir Klitschko, with Hughie Fury, with Rydell Booker and these guys. He wants to bully these guys. But that’s why I say like I’m a killer as well. Even though I’m a businessman, I’ve definitely got a killer instinct in me.”