Anthony Joshua has insisted he will have to ‘put on his dancing shoes’ after weighing in almost two stone heavier than Alexander Povetkin ahead of their world-title showdown at Wembley Stadium on Saturday evening.
The scales tipped in favour of the champion with Joshua enjoying a significant weight advantage over his Russian challenger at 17st 8lbs, while Povetkin came in at an airy 15st 12lbs. A pretty substantial advantage, then AJ?
‘Well,’ said the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO title holder, ‘He will come at me quick fire.
‘He’s going to be quick and fast so I better put on my dancing shoes and be sharp with my feet.
‘I feel good though, I’m going to do some training after this just to keep myself ticking over and get rid of any cobwebs. We are nearly there now.’
They could hardly have found a more suitably named venue for a weigh-in, given boxing’s transition into high commerce.
This place used to be called the Royal Agricultural Halls, where they held cattle shows.
Once again, they were weighing some priceless beef.
Povetkin, who weighed in lighter than anticipated – seven pounds than his last fight to be exact – has been widely tipped to provide Joshua with his sternest test since he beat Wladimir Klitschko under the same arches he will operate under on Saturday.
The 39-year-old Russian has played the part, too, appearing calm, collected and confident all week in the build-up to Saturday’s showdown.
What is the Business Design Centre?
The Business Design Centre is a Grade II listed building, which was originally opened as the Royal Agricultural Hall in 1862 in the district of Islington in London, England, for holding agricultural shows.
It was the home of the Royal Smithfield Club’s Smithfield Show from 1862 to 1938. The hall then remained unused and empty until it was bought and converted to its present use as the Business Design Centre by Sam Morris in 1986.
As an exhibition venue and conference centre with showrooms and offices, it is home to over 100 businesses, including clothing retailer Barbour, electronics manufacturer Samsung.
With venue space ranging from small meetings right through to conferences for 2,000 delegates and exhibition space spanning 6000m², the Business Design Centre hosts a range of different events, including the Open House London and Kiosk Summit London later this month.
He believes he is in the best shape of his career that has spanned 34 victories and only one loss and that the pressure rests on the shoulders of the champion.
Joshua recognises Povetkin represents a real danger and added: ‘Youtube tells you that, Google tells you that and so does history.
‘Povetkin is a tough challenge and he is the man that I have to beat. But it’s nothing new to me so I’m not too bothered. I’m feeling calm and relaxed.
‘I always look at it this way, if they are strong to the head then hit them to the body and if they are strong to the body then hit them to the head and eventually they will fold. That’s all I have to do.’
Joshua v Povetkin will be televised live this Saturday night on Sky Sports Box Office.