Anthony Joshua admits he is haunted by the fear of failure ahead of his next world heavyweight boxing title defence against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium.
Britain’s heavyweight star brings a 21-fight unbeaten record, along with the WBA ‘super’, IBF and WBO belts into Saturday’s fight with Povetkin.
But Joshua has revealed how he feels the burden of expectation on his shoulders as he prepares to perform in front of an expected attendance of up to 90 000 fans.
“The keys to victory for me in this fight – it’s hard because you know what it’s like when you fight, it’s a lot of pressure,” Joshua told Sky Sports. “Ultimately as much as we think about winning, I think about losing. I can’t afford to lose. “This fight, the key to victory with me is relaxation, belief, having your energy reserves intact. I’m just trying to say I need to be a bit more effective, and sharp with my punches in this fight.”
A fellow Olympic gold medallist, Povetkin has proven his technical prowess throughout a 35-fight professional career, with just a solitary defeat to Wladimir Klitschko, and Joshua accepts that he cannot make any costly lapses in concentration.