"Anthony Joshua’s physique is "leaner" and he will be "lighter" for his upcoming fight, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn.
Joshua weighed in at his heaviest ever in wins against Wladimir Klitschko (17st 12lbs) and Carlos Takam (18st 2lbs) last year but could drop some mass before facing Joseph Parker in a world heavyweight title unifier on March 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
I can’t see him coming in more than 17st 8lbs or 17st 9lbs, which would be half-a-stone lighter than the last fight. Maybe he will be even lighter, Hearn told Sky Sports.
I was laughing with him, saying: ‘you’re worse than my wife – you’re constantly on the scales checking your weight’.
He feels amazing. I was on FaceTime with him and he got on the scales – he was 17st 7lbs on Sunday night. He’d had a weekend of replenishing.
From the day after his Takam fight, all he has been thinking about is how he can improve, get a bit leaner, improve the jab, improve the footwork. He is obsessed with improvement.
I watched him spar 12 rounds last week. His footwork is so much better – he is gliding on his feet, he has got faster hands. He is so meticulous in camp, like nothing I’ve ever seen.
He is lighter and started camp earlier so they aren’t having to exhaust him. He is working hard, but much smarter. So far, this is the best camp he’s had. Coming in lighter, he feels great.
IBF and WBA ‘super’ champion Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken told Sky Sports in January: We’ll work out an optimum weight for him. But at the moment my feeling, and his feeling, is 17st 9lbs or 17st 10lbs.
WBO holder Parker, who was 17st 7lbs for his most recent win, has also been issued a weight target by his trainer, Kevin Barry, who told Sky Sports earlier this year: We’ll come in lighter. I think it’s very important that Joe is very fast on his feet and very mobile in this fight against Joshua.
Joshua’s ultimate goal remains a fight against Deontay Wilder, who must first defend his WBC title against Luis Ortiz live on Sky Sports this weekend, for all four major belts but other options exist.
Hearn explained: Anything could happen – Jarrell Miller could be beaten [by Johann Duhaupas], we might fight Deontay Wilder next, the WBA might call their mandatory. If we box in America and it’s not Wilder, Miller will be the perfect guy.
At some point the WBA will call a mandatory, I think this summer. I think we will have to fight Alexander Povetkin this year so it could be next.
We will fight Povetkin – he is on the radar – and AJ isn’t about to vacate any belts. He must become the undisputed champion.
Watch Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz live from Brooklyn, New York, in the early hours of Sunday morning, on Sky Sports Main Event, from 2am.