Joshua back ‘home’ to face Povetkin for heavyweight titles

This was supposed to be the week Anthony Joshua completed his whirlwind six-year journey from Olympic gold medalist to undisputed world heavyweight champion.

Deontay Wilder should have been the opponent, Las Vegas potentially the venue. Instead, Joshua has to take a detour.

The 28-year-old Briton was back home in London on Thursday, ready to fulfil his mandatory obligations by facing Russian fighter Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium.

It’s not the fight he wanted — Wilder, the WBC champion, remains his No. 1 priority — but he knows it’s another important step toward his ultimate goal of unifying the division.

The last time Joshua fought at Wembley, it was in front of about 90,000 spectators against Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017. A similar-sized crowd is expected on Saturday.

Joshua, the IBF, WBO and WBA titleholder, says “I feel relaxed and calm. It’s not new to me anymore. I feel like this is home and where I’m going to perform.”

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