International Sport > Boxing > JOSHUA FOCUSED ON POVETKIN AND NOT FURY

JOSHUA FOCUSED ON POVETKIN AND NOT FURY

Anthony Joshua did not watch heavyweight rival Tyson Fury's latest bout as he is fully focused for the "biggest pressure fight" of his career against Alexander Povetkin, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn.

Unbeaten Briton Joshua will put his WBA, IBF and WBO titles on the line against Russia's Povetkin at Wembley on September 22.

Joshua had hoped for a lucrative unification bout with WBC champion Deontay Wilder, but negotiations between the camps broke down.

Wilder is instead expected to seal a bout against Fury, with the American in attendance for the former unified heavyweight king's points win over Francesco Pianeta earlier this month.

Joshua himself could find himself on a collision course with Fury should he defeat Wilder, but Hearn says all future plans are being put on the shelf as the 28-year-old is refusing to look beyond his showdown with Povetkin.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Hearn explained: "I said to him [Joshua], 'Did you watch that?' and he said 'What?'

"It was later that night and I said 'The Fury fight?' He said 'No, what happened?'

"He's so focused on this camp, because he knows about Povetkin. People in boxing know about Povetkin. Anyone you ask in boxing goes: 'It's a tough fight'.

"I don't think he's in the mood to be thinking about other stuff, talking about other stuff, outside of Povetkin.

"I don't think he's taking a lot of interest in the outside world around this fight, because he knows what's at stake.

"Obviously people have told him he might be fighting [the winner of] Fury-Wilder, but he's just going to concentrate on what we're doing.

"I think he thinks this is the toughest fight of his career because of what's around, what people are talking about beyond this. I think this is the biggest pressure fight of his career so far."

Hearn said this week that Dillian Whyte is now a leading contender for a rematch with long-time rival Joshua next April, when the champion already has another Wembley date booked in.

However, the promoter concedes Joshua still wants to face off with Wilder.

"[Joshua] would like to, but he's not interested in time wasters," he said.

"We've put a contract together based on all the terms that [Wilder's team] agreed, and they still haven't even replied.

"If you don't like those terms anymore after you've accepted them, fine, let's talk about it and try and make it. They don't even want to talk about it. They wait on Fury-Wilder which I don't know… I have my doubts.

"We would like to make the Wilder fight now for April 13 but when you've got a group of people that won't reply to you, or wouldn't meet you to discuss it, how can you possibly make it?

"We will run out of time."

Copyright: www.scoresway.com
 
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Friday, September 21, 2018
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