While much of the talk in the lead-up to next weekend’s heavyweight unification fight between WBA/IBF/IBO titleholder Anthony Joshua 20-0 (20) and his WBO counterpart Joseph Parker 24-0 (18) has been about how much they will both weigh, the undefeated Englishman has refused to buy in to the debate.
“I don’t know about this weight nonsense,” Joshua told The Daily Star. “I beat [Carlos] Takam comfortably, whether I was 18-stone, 19-stone, 20-stone. I’m weighing the same as I was before the Takam fight at this stage. Whether I’m 20-stone or not, there’s no weight limit in order to win a fight at heavyweight.
“I have to win a fight and weight doesn’t win fights. Whether I’m 18-stone or 20-stone, it’s how you feel. I’m not in training camp for these three months trying to do Weight Watchers. That’s not my goal. Training camp isn’t about losing weight, it’s about working on your technique, being able to go the rounds.
“We spar 15 rounds and providing we do shadow and bag work there are many rounds afterwards and we run hard. So weight shouldn’t be an issue. My focus is just skill-set.
“I like improving my skill-set rather than worrying about getting fitter. A lot of fighters go into training camp and go ‘I want to be fit for this fight, I want to be in great shape’, flexing and all that.”
Joshua, who is yet to be taken the distance in a professional bout but needed 11 rounds to TKO former champion Wladimir Klitschko last year, is expecting his Kiwi opponent to come in lighter than the 245-pounds he has weighed in at for his recent fights against Hughie Fury, Razvan Cojanu and Andy Ruiz Jr.
“Yes, he will rely a lot on movement because I spoke so openly about the Wladimir Klitschko fight, about how his movement was great.
“I see that they watch a lot of that fight to try to find my weaknesses. They will probably try to emulate what Klitschko did.”