World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua believes he can remain at the top of boxing for the next decade and insists he is not worried about running out of credible contenders to his throne.
In a world exclusive interview with Yahoo Sport, Joshua has outlined his vision in the sport for the years to come, with fights against Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and Alexander Povetkin all possible in the next couple of years.
If Joshua wins those fights, his domination of the heavyweight division would be complete, but the 2012 London Olympics gold medalist has stressed he is planning to stay in the sport for a long time to come.
“This is the long run, I’m here for the enjoyment, I’m here for the ups and downs and there is a lot I can achieve in the space of the next ten years,” stated Joshua, who spoke to Yahoo Sport at a Lucozade Sport Fitwater event. “So long as I keep those elements within my boxing, I’ll always have that passion for it. That cool, calm and collected attitude towards it. No stress with this life.
“I beat Wilder and Tyson Fury, but this is a career. I don’t see Man United playing Arsenal every week. Or Man United playing Man City every week. Sometimes they have to play a lower league club. You have got to fill the gaps.
“From an entertainment perspective, I’ll fight Wilder, Wilder Wilder….Fury, Fury, Fury, but in reality there are challengers coming up. There will be tough times in the ring…setbacks. There has not been one heavyweight who has not gone without a loss, apart from Rocky Marciano but that was years ago.”
Joshua’s success has quickly turned him into household name around the world, but he insists fame and fortune has not changed him, with the kid who emerged from a tough upbringing that saw him have brushes with the authorities suggesting boxing has saved him from a trouble life.
“When I got into boxing, I always had a different interpretation of what I was trying to achieve,” he added. “If it was just about being the world champion, my feet would have been on cloud nine (now), but it was more about what I got from it.
“The discipline, the regiment, the people I met, the bond that I get from going to the gym. Despite all the success around me, I haven’t lost my principles and morals and that is a success in itself, rather than getting carried away with the trappings of success.
“I am still AJ, the guy from Watford who has not changed. Everyone has to get their mindset to feel great about what they are doing. It can give you that road to greatness and that is what we are all trying to achieve in our own fields. I do want to achieve great things, there’s not doubt about that, but I don’t want to get too carried away. I just need to keep my feet on the ground and still reach for the stars.”
Anthony Joshua is one of the official ambassadors for Lucozade Sport Fitwater, a new functional water packed full of electrolytes, which is specifically made for sports hydration.