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Anthony Joshua: It’s impossible to be the best fighter and the best promoter

"I cannot imagine a Real Madrid without Ronaldo, not at all, nor can I imagine him playing for a different club."

Anthony Joshua: It’s impossible to be the best fighter and the best promoter

"I cannot imagine a Real Madrid without Ronaldo, not at all, nor can I imagine him playing for a different club."

07 January 2018 Sunday 12:47
Anthony Joshua: It’s impossible to be the best fighter and the best promoter

Anthony Joshua insists he won’t take his eye off the prizes in store for him in 2018 by getting caught up in being a promoter.

IBF, WBA and IBO heavyweight champion Joshua has a proposed unification bout against WBO title holder Joseph Parker in late March or early April. And if he comes through that, he hopes to face WBC top dog Deontay Wilder, with every title on the line.

Despite this, he has agreed to co-promote the ­cruiserweight clash between Lawrence Okolie and Isaac Chamberlain alongside his own promoter, Eddie Hearn.

It’s a fight that is scheduled for February 3 – two months before he is expected to take on Parker – and with his own ­training camp well under way.

Joshua said: “Boxing is my most important thing and it’s impossible to be the best fighter and the best promoter — Eddie cannot be the best promoter and also be a world champion.

c But to have the chance and to be ­exposed to these types of things, I take them with both hands ­because it’s something I could never have imagined.

“It’s a great ­opportunity and Eddie said it wouldn’t take away anything from my boxing, so it made sense – it’s good for me.

“I like boxing and, apart from going to the football with the lads, it’s the only sport I will sit at home by myself and turn on, instead of watching EastEnders. When Eddie mentioned about the chance of being able to sit with him and bring attention, using my audience, to what these guys are trying to achieve, I said it’s the perfect time for it.

“If it was any other opportunity, I might have said, ‘Eddie, you know what? Not this one’. But I know both ­boxers and I know where they are trying to get to. I know how eager you must be, coming from the bottom to get to the top.

“I know these two have had beef before and how important these fights are so early in their ­careers, because they catapult you forward to achieving that ­childhood dream of becoming world champion. It was just a perfect connection and this is the perfect fight to get my eyes and hands involved in.”

Some believe the clash has come too soon, that the rivals would have been better served by waiting until they were better fighters and bigger names.

But Joshua added: “Isaac has had nine fights and Lawrence has had seven. This could have been their 14th or 15th fights, but they want to progress.

“For some reason, 2018 seems like it’s going to be a massive year for all of us. Everyone’s talking about ­titles, so that’s what we’re trying to do, bring attention to the first show of year – start with a boom!”

Mirror

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