ANTHONY JOSHUA is happy going Bak-u to the future and boxing in front of 1000 hushed fans instead of 90,000 beer-soaked revellers.
AJ landed gold at the home 2012 Olympics – following low-profile tournaments in Baku, Azerbaijan and Hungary – which catapulted him into sold-out arena and stadium shows around the world.
Triple-belt world champ Anthony Joshua will make a drastic step down from huge to humble when it comes to crowd size at Wembley on December 12[/caption]
Anthony Joshua fought in front of limited audiences as an amateur, such as in Baku nine years against Azerbaijan’s Magomedrasul Medzhidov [/caption]
Covid-19 floored an April homecoming defence against Kubrat Pulev and an £8million gate but the new Wembley Arena bout on December 12 will now let a few lucky fans in.
And the 31-year-old reckons the drastic change in scenery and atmosphere might be a nice switch from the rowdy festival feel he has generated all over the country.
“The last time I would have fought in front of a small crowd, I think it was Hungary in 2012. It was quite decent, you know. It is not bad. The pressure is off, you can get in your rhythm.
“And I think I need that sometimes – I am under a lot of pressure. I am physically good but mentally you have to stay strong.
“This year has been good to unload a lot of pressure and fighting in front of 1000 fans is not so bad. You have to take it as a positive and control what you can control.
“A thousand fans are allowed in and I can’t add to it or take from it.
“I am going to take it as a positive and say I am going to go in there and perform with no pressure and showcase the styles I have merged together, which is sticking and moving and aggression and knockout power.
“When else would anyone get to watch a heavyweight world title fight with just 1000 people in the room?”
Laughing over the Zoom call, he added: “It will be intimate and you won’t have to worry about your missus getting a pint of beer chucked over her head or 15 guys nearby getting into a fight.”
Britain’s world heavyweight king Anthony Joshua says he will turn having just a small crowd to his advantage, taking the pressure off[/caption]
Joshua also revealed he will accept a massive pay cut to get a showdown with Tyson Fury in the UK in 2021.
Both AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn and Fury’s matchmaker Frank Warren have admitted the best financial offers will come from the Middle East, America and China.
AJ, 31, reclaimed his titles from Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia last year, after the controversial nation stumped up around a £100m site fee and Fury has wrestled there with WWE.
The financial terms on a two-fight deal to battle the Gypsy King was agreed by the Watford hero back in March and he insists he will take another hit in the wallet to reward UK fans.
“Yeah, why not?” he said. “Now I’m fighting Kubrat Pulev for a massive pay cut.
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“We have to keep the sport alive, Matchroom are taking pay cuts this year, we have to keep the sport alive.
“We are all doing our part at the minute, It’s all experience. We are doing it now so I wouldn’t mind doing it again.
“It’s not harming me, and it’s for a bigger cause as well, it’s a massive cause and a big fight but the main objective is how do we get Fury in the ring.”