Joshua Focuses Ahead of World Title Bout 

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Anthony Joshua is unconcerned by popularity and says winning is all that is required to maintain public interest.

The Londoner won Olympic gold in 2012 and has enjoyed a direct and speedy journey to today’s world title clash with IBF champion Charles Martin at The O2 – live on Sky Sports Box Office.

In his previous bout – a seventh-round knockout defeat of long-time rival Dillian Whyte at the same venue – Joshua appeared to land a blow on his opponent after the bell.

But Joshua told Behind The Ropes: “This isn’t golf. It’s the fight game, the hurt business. You fight until you’re pulled off your opponent. That’s what I’d tell any fighter in my gym.

“You don’t fight and listen for the bell. That’s why people get punched after the bell. As a fighter, let’s not forget what you’re in it for. You’re a gladiator, a warrior and you fight until you’re pulled apart. That’s where I’m coming from.

“We keep rocking and rolling until we’re pulled apart and may the best man win. Someone has to go. I enjoy it. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t. Boxing to me is fun and helps me to develop me as a man.

“Nobody forces me to do it. I found it myself. I built it myself. I train by myself. It’s all me. I just enjoy it and I like the people I’m around. From a young age, when I was 18, boxing became my life. Without it I don’t think I’ll have much fun.

“This is not a popularity contest. This is fighting. I’ve got to win. As long as I’m winning, people are going to keep on watching. I leave the popularity thing down to the PR people. You’ve got to have the focused mentality.”

With Joshua wowing the British public with his ferocious run of knockouts to date, the 26-year-old is delighted at the prospect of home advantage when he takes on the American.

He added: “I’m not in a rush to be travelling the world. Charles Martin coming over here is class. There are big stadiums here and an unbelievable fanbase so I don’t see why we have to go overseas to fight. I think it’s unbelievable he wants to come here and fight me so I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.”