Anthony Joshua responded to critics after a series of recent setbacks in his career, addressing them in anticipation of his highly anticipated £75 million bout against Otto Wallin on Saturday.
He emphasized a transformative mindset shift at the age of 18, redirecting his focus and energy into boxing as a means of doing something distinctive with his life.
I was just put in that position to bring people towards boxing. Maybe that was my calling. To bring more eyes to the sport of boxing. Look at us now, we are here in Saudi.
It’s opening up so many amazing opportunities for people. So yeah, with my boxing and reigning as heavyweight world champion, I brought a lot of eyes to the sport. But, it didn’t just happen yesterday. It’s been in the works for a long time so that’s my calling, to open up new doors and bring more people to the sport.’
On embracing the pressure he is under ahead of his fight, he said: ‘Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Heavy is the head that wants the crown and I want it. This is my calling. This is something I have dedicated my life to since I was 18 years old.
‘I need the pressure. This position I am in is not a joke. It is serious. I understand what I am here and what I am doing. I understand the pressure that comes with it.
‘I want to keep on chasing my goals and the goals of people within the sport. It’s just my way of showing that I am honouring them. So, keep on putting pressure on me and I will keep on making sure I get better.’
Joshua has returned to winning ways by beating Jermaine Franklin and Robert Helenius after losing his WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight belts to Ukrainian superstar Oleksandr Usyk.