Joshua v Povetkin: AJ’s sparring partner reveals what Joshua’s changed since last fight

Express

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19 September 2018 22:16

Martin Bakole is highly thought of as an upcoming star in the heavyweight division and has been trading punches with AJ.

Having worked closely with the unified champion, the fighter from the Democratic Republic of Congo has been paying close attention to his approach ahead of his fight with Povetkin.

Before the bout with Parker, AJ had beat all of his previous 21 opponents by knockout.

Parker was the first man to go the distance with Joshua in Cardiff.

"When I watched his fight against Parker, he was a little bit poor, because maybe I don't know if he was focused in the ring with him or not," Bakole told Sky Sports.

"But this time, I see he's serious now and focused, and working hard. I think it's going to be different.

"For me, he's taking it serious, because he's fighting someone who has only lost once in a big fight. He's serious and he's focused."

This may not be the fight the fans have been waiting for but it’s Joshua’s duty to defend challengers.

Joshua v Povetkin: AJ will defend his belts at Wembley (Image: GETTY)

Joshua v Povetkin: AJ will need to get past the Russia before he gets to face Wilder (Image: GETTY)

Joshua v Povetkin: Martin Bakole (right) has been trading punches with AJ (Image: GETTY)

If Joshua is to beat the Russian it should give him much more freedom in selecting his next opponent which is likely to be Deontay Wilder.

Povetkin is 39-years-old and has only lost once in 35 career fights.

This came against Wladimir Klitschko in 2013, the man who AJ beat in front of a sell-out crowd at Wembley in April 2017.

If he is to cause a surprise in London, he’d prize Joshua of his IBF, WBA and WBO belts.

Joshua v Povetkin: Povetkin is looking to cause an upset (Image: GETTY)

AJ is not underestimating his opponent.

He said: "I can't wait to get back in the ring - the end of March feels a long time ago now. Povetkin is a serious challenge that I will prepare meticulously for.

“He has serious pedigree and only a fool would underestimate what he brings to the table.”

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