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Anthony Joshua says he is ‘in a good place’ ahead of his pro debut
12:00pm Friday 4th October 2013 in Sport
Watford-born Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua says he’ll thrive under the pressure of making his professional debut against Emanuele Leo tomorrow (Saturday).
The 23-year-old will return to the ring at the o2 Arena for the first since he roared to victory at London 2012 and Italian Leo goes into the bout unbeaten in eight fights but has yet to compete outside his home country.
There is plenty of expectation on Joshua’s shoulders ahead of the contest but he believes his Olympic experience will be invaluable as he looks to put on a show in his first taste of the paid ranks.
He said: “I was lucky enough to be a part of the Olympics with the media attention all the way up to the Games, during the Games and beyond, so I’m used to being under the spotlight and I’m comfortable.
“It feels less pressurised than the Olympics really, Leo is coming over with an 8-0 record and will want to spoil the party so it’s going to be a tough first fight for me.
“I’m really proud to be making my debut on such a massive show – this really is the big time now.”
It has been over 12 months since Joshua’s success at London 2012 but he believes he has improved since clinching gold.
He said: “I’ve had a lot of time in the gym to work on a lot of things and I’m looking forward to putting it all on display. I’m in good condition, I think I’ve improved, I will be nice and relaxed, so I’m in a good place before Saturday.
“We’ve got a game plan, we’ve got a few shots that we think will rattle his cage so if it comes together it should be a great night.”
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