Anthony Joshua takes swipe at drugs cheats ahead of Alexander Povetkin showdown

ANTHONY JOSHUA took a swipe at drugs cheat Alexander Povetkin — and insisted it is his job to prove a clean boxer is a better fighter.

Joshua admits he is “under tons of pressure” as he puts his WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight title belts on the line against the Russian at Wembley on Saturday night.

 Anthony Joshua is putting his belts on the line against drugs cheat Alexander Povetkin

Richard Pelham – The Sun
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Anthony Joshua is putting his belts on the line against drugs cheat Alexander Povetkin

Povetkin has twice failed drug tests that led to suspensions and fines but is now the mandatory challenger  to Joshua’s  titles.

But Joshua said: “My job is to show the non-drug cheat is a stronger, better fighter — and that’s why I have to fight.”

AJ also admitted he is not completely happy about Povetkin being named as his mandatory challenger but will have to “deal with that”.

He told Fight Hub TV: “If you’re on drugs you get banned, simple as that. I do believe in a fair fight.

“It damages my opponent’s health if that was me cheating. So drug cheats should be more severely dealt with.”

 Anthony Joshua claims he wants to prove clean fighters are superior

Richard Pelham – The Sun
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Anthony Joshua claims he wants to prove clean fighters are superior
 AJ should be comfortable fighting in front of a packed Wembley crowd

AFP or licensors
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AJ should be comfortable fighting in front of a packed Wembley crowd

When asked if he believes Povetkin deserves the fight, Joshua replied: “Yeah, he’s the mandatory challenger, for whatever reason, so that’s the guy I have to fight, ain’t it?”

Earlier, at the pre-fight press conference, Joshua confessed: “There’s loads of pressure, tons of pressure. That’s the reality.

“Even though we present ourselves as calm, cool and collected, we know what we’re in for.

“You’ve just got to roll with the punches. What more can I do than give my best? You find a way to win and grind it out.

Anthony Joshua says he expects a tough title defence against Russian challenger Alexander Povetkin

“My body has been broken down and built up again in this camp like never before.

“I just love to fight. I love fight week — I can finally taper down a bit, get my strength back.”

AJ will be boxing at Wembley for the first time since his epic knockout victory over Wladimir Klitschko last April.

 Things were very cordial in the build-up to the showdown

Richard Pelham – The Sun
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Things were very cordial in the build-up to the showdown

But he reckons he feels used to competing in major stadiums after two subsequent successes at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, against Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker.

The 28-year-old said: “This doesn’t feel new to me any more. Wembley feels like home now.

“Coming back here is a blessing. It’s time to just put on a performance.”

ANTHONY JOSHUA took a swipe at drugs cheat Alexander Povetkin — and insisted it is his job to prove a clean boxer is a better fighter.