Anthony Joshua admits feeling the pressure ahead of Alexander Povetkin fight

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Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin during Thursday's press conference

Anthony Joshua is feeling under “tons of pressure” as he nears the latest defence of his world heavyweight titles against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley.

The IBF, WBA and WBO champion is returning for the first time to the scene of his finest hour as a professional – last year’s dramatic 11th-round stoppage of Wladimir Klitschko – but does so at a time when he will be harshly judged.

That negotiations for a unification fight with WBC champion Deontay Wilder ended in frustration led to Saturday’s fight with the less-glamorous Povetkin, his mandatory challenger and a significant underdog.

Tyson Fury’s return and swift agreement to a fight with Wilder has also led to wider criticism of Joshua, who in his last title defence against Joseph Parker in March was taken the 12-round distance for the first time.

Against his 39-year-old challenger, anything less than a convincing victory is likely to lead to further criticism, and Joshua said: “There’s loads of pressure; tons of pressure. That’s the reality.

“You’re calm and collected but underneath it all it’s the reality. We both know what we are in for. It’s the same with every fight.

“What more can I do than give my best? I’ll go out there and find a way to win.

“I know I have a lot of fire in my belly; that’s just as important as skills.

“Skills and technique apart, we both have a big heart and can dig deep. We both showed that against Klitschko (who Povetkin lost to on points).

“The one who’s toughest will come out victorious.”

Povetkin, like Joshua an Olympic gold medallist, represents the champion’s toughest fight since that against Klitschko.

He has since overcome Carlos Takam and Parker, when for the first time his performances were criticised, and his trainer Rob McCracken said: “(Povetkin) is a fighter from a different level. With respect to Parker and Takam, Povetkin comes from the top level.”

Similarly to their first press conference, Povetkin was again far smaller than Joshua.

It was a size disadvantage that contributed to his only defeat in 35 fights, by Klitschko in 2013, but he said: “Joshua is one of the strongest in the division.

Anthony is a very strong fighter but I am just as strong.

“When I fought Klitschko I was much weaker and in worse shape than I am now.”

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Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez willing to fight Gennady Golovkin a third time after winning sequel

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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is open to the idea of a third fight against Gennady Golovkin after taking a points decision and the Kazakh’s WBC and WBA middleweight titles in Las Vegas.

Billed Canelo v GGG II, the fight came nearly a year to the day since a split-decision draw left Golovkin stunned.

And Triple G was stunned again with a tight decision favouring the Mexican – on the eve of his country’s Independence Day – with two judges scoring the fight 115-113 and the third 114-114.

Speaking after the fight, Canelo said: “If the people want a third fight, we will do it again. But for now, I want to enjoy the moment with my family and my people.

“But if they want us to do it again, no doubt. He’s a great fighter but I’m a great fighter and I showed it tonight.”

Alvarez’s six-month ban after testing positive for clenbuterol – he claimed the positive test came from eating contaminated meat – scuppered the first prospective rematch date earlier this year.

So expectations were high as the pair went toe to toe in the highly anticipated bout at the T-Mobile Arena.

Canelo controlled the pace but Golovkin was better with the jab in the early stages, almost a reversal of last September.

Canelo got in some strong body work in the second half of the fight but, into the 12th round, it was the champion who was pushing harder, landing a left-hook and uppercut.

Going into the final three minutes, all three judges had it at 105-104 in favour of the challenger with the Mexican’s strong chin and even stronger resolve saw him go the distance and take the straps as Golovkin tasted defeat for the first time in 40 fights.

Golovkin left the ring without speaking, but later said: “I’m not going to say who won tonight because the victory belongs to Canelo according to the judges.

“I thought it was a very good fight for the fans and very exciting. I thought I fought better than he did.”

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Canelo Alvarez edges Gennady Golovkin by majority decision in thriller

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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has taken the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight titles after a majority decision against Gennady Golovkin.

The fight in Las Vegas came nearly a year to the day since a split-decision draw left the Kazakh boxer stunned.

And Triple G was left to rue what could have been again, with two judges scoring the last of the 12 rounds for the Mexican, which ultimately prevented a second draw in as many fights.

Two judges scored the fight 115-113 in favour of Canelo, while the third had it at 114-114.

The pair went blow for blow in the highly anticipated bout at the T-Mobile Arena, Canelo controlling the pace but Golovkin better with the jab in the early stages.

Canelo got in some strong body work in the second half of the fight but, into the 12th round, it was the champion who was pushing harder, landing a left-hook and uppercut.

The Mexican’s strong chin and even stronger resolve saw him go the distance and then take the three straps as Golovkin tasted defeat for the first time in 40 fights.

“I am a great fighter, and I showed it tonight,” said Alvarez.

“If the people want another round, I’ll do it again,” added the 28-year-old, who improves to 50-1-2. “I feel satisfied because I gave a great fight. It was a clear victory.”

Golovkin, who fell to 38-1-1 after the loss, left the ring immediately to get eight stitches to a cut above his right eye.

He later said he believed he had done enough to win – and opened the door for a possible third instalment.

“I’m not going to say who won tonight, because the victory belongs to Canelo according to the judges,” the deposed WBA, WBC and IBO middleweight king said.

“I thought it was a very good fight for the fans, and very exciting. I thought I fought better than he did.”

When asked about a third fight, he said: “Under the right conditions, yes.”

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