Boxing

Anthony Joshua admits ‘I must be a good psychopath as I’m sleeping like a baby’

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Anthony Joshua has been sleeping like a baby this week as he prepares to leave Kubrat Pulev out for the count.

The WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion insists the killer instinct is still in him after he boxed clever to outpoint Andy Ruiz Jnr last December in their Saudi Arabia rematch.

Joshua, 31, admits it is psychopathic behaviour to be sleeping soundly when you're about to go in a ring and trade huge punches ahead of his clash with the Bulgarian veteran.

But the man who has knocked out 21 of the 23 people has beaten insists he hasn't turned into a back-foot boxer just because of one fight.

“I’ve been that destructive ever since I started boxing so, for me, I’m just going to do the job in the best way possible,” said Joshua.

“Because, No 1, remaining champion is important, and No 2 getting the win is – in whatever fashion.

“But I’m ready for a 12 round fight if that is the case.

“And if a shot lands and causes a lot of damage I will be looking to take him out. That doesn’t leave someone. Once a killer, always a killer.

  • Anthony Joshua on how Andy Ruiz Jr defeat made him a better fighter ahead of Pulev clash

“I sleep good. Certain people can’t sleep at night because they’re really tuned up for this fight but I must be a good psychopath because I’m sleeping like a baby.

“I’m not worried. I do this.”

This will be the first time Joshua has fought in front of such a small audience since he was an amateur before the London 2012 Olympics.

Only 1,000 fans will be in Wembley Arena and behind-closed-doors boxing has brought up some big upsets since the summer including Daniel Dubois' defeat by Joe Joyce and Anthony Yarde losing to Lyndon Arthur.

Joshua is a huge favourite against Pulev, whose only defeat as a pro came in his only other world-title shot against Wladimir Klitschko back in 2014.

  • Tyson Fury warns of 'no fireworks' – shutting down Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev rumours

But the Watford warrior is wary of overlooking the Bulgarian with WBC champion Tyson Fury lying in wait for next year.

“People say I had more pressure on me in Saudi, but I feel I’m fighting for the championship again,” said Joshua.

“I haven’t cut any sessions because I’m serious about wanting to win.

“I feel more confident, that’s for sure. In Saudi, there was a massive pressure. This one I have had a lot of time to work on everything.

“Look at the Joe Joyce-Dubois situation, and Arthur, I’ve got to take Pulev seriously and it won’t be a walk in the park because if I don’t we’ve seen what can happen.

  • Anthony Joshua refusing to be distracted by Tyson Fury ahead of Kubrat Pulev clash

“If I don’t take this guy deadly serious, I’m giving him a chance to beat me.

“If I’m deadly serious, it’s going to eliminate any chance for him to beat me, so that’s what I’m focused on.”

In his first defence of the belt since getting them back against Ruiz Jnr, Joshua insists we will get to see an even better version of him tonight and he has been using YouTube motivational speakers to inspire him.

  • Architecture fan Kubrat Pulev ready to demolish Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury plans

“I just listen to a lot of things on YouTube,” he added. “I spend a lot of time on YouTube listening to different quotes and speakers.

“There’ve been great warriors that have conquered the world. I’m just trying to conquer one man tonight.”

Joshua v Pulev is live on Sky Sports Box Office tonight

  • Andy Ruiz
  • Anthony Joshua
  • Tyson Fury
  • Wladimir Klitschko

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