World heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua has revealed that he will only feel he has “made it” in boxing if he captures Deontay Wilder’s WBC title bout.
Joshua will clash with Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday and he does not feel “burnt out” as a fight week begins for the first time in a decade.
“I’ve never been in a fight week where I have felt so energised,” he said.
The 29-year-old WBA, IBF and WBO champion cut a relaxed figure as he spoke on a New York rooftop, his hands sporting plasters and his cheeks showing small blemishes likely picked up in sparring at the Miami training base he has used to prepare for his US debut.
Saturday’s fight at Madison Square Garden will see him end nine months of inactivity, during which talks with Wilder have yielded nothing in the shape of a historic contest where one man could win all four heavyweight world titles for the first time.
Asked if the glamour of New York and billboards sporting his name mean he has made it, Joshua replied: “Yeah, it looks like I’ve made it but it’s only when I put my hand on the last title – and win on Saturday – then I can say I’ve made it.
“It’s been down to calculated steps. It’s been a good journey, a tough journey. On the sides of the journey there are billboards, then with time, two billboards but it’s all about winning this sport.
“I haven’t put a foot wrong yet and I am not looking to put a foot wrong on Saturday either.”
Wilder – who is expected to face Luis Ortiz in his next bout – will not be at ‘The Garden’ on Saturday but his manager Shelly Finkel will.
By Kayode Oniwinde