Anthony Joshua says Alexander Povetkin is “seriously skilled” and does not believe Dillian Whyte can match his destructive victory over the Russian heavyweight.
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Joshua overcame a torrid start to stop Povetkin in the seventh round of their world title fight at Wembley and will be ringside to watch the former WBA champion’s clash with Whyte on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Whyte revealed he could target a ruthless early win at Thursday’s final press conference, but Joshua has suggested that his British rival will have to work much harder than he did to overcome Povetkin.
“Everyone has issues in training, if he [Whyte] trained right, he will come through,” Joshua told Sky Sports.
“He is a fighter, Dillian. But Povetkin is a seriously skilled heavyweight – an Olympic gold medallist, a world champion whose only losses were against [Wladimir] Klitschko and me.
“He’s good, a good fighter who hasn’t been on the losing end much so hasn’t got used to that feeling.
“He still has the hunger and will go in against Dillian thinking he can win.”
Asked for his prediction, Joshua added: “It will go to a points decision.”
Joshua was beaten by Whyte as an amateur, then defeated him by stoppage in the professional ranks, and promoter Eddie Hearn has suggested the duo could meet again next year.
“If he wants it, he can get it,” Whyte told Sky Sports.
“I’ve told him already before. I’ve told him many times. I’m not scared to fight him. I want to fight him. It’s not like it’s a secret.”
On the Whyte-Povetkin bill, Katie Taylor’s undisputed world lightweight titles are at stake in a rematch with Delfine Persoon.
The Irish star narrowly outpointed Persoon on the same night that Joshua suffered his first professional defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr last June, and the fellow London 2012 gold medallist has voiced his support for Taylor.
“I really respect her,” said Joshua. “She is phenomenal. She is someone I sit back quietly and learn from.
“She is a real-life athlete – I am more reckless. I take inspiration from her.
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