Joshua: 'I'm still under pressure to perform well despite being on the undercard' (From Watford Observer)
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Anthony Joshua: 'There is still pressure to perform well against Paul Butlin despite being on the undercard'
With his last two fights being an Olympic final and headlining a show at the O2 Arena in London, you might suspect Anthony Joshua would relish the chance of slipping under the radar this Saturday as part of a packed undercard. You would be wrong.
The super heavyweight gold medalist from London 2012 started his pro career with a first-round knock-out at the O2 earlier this month and on Saturday the former Finchley ABC member takes on experienced campaigner Paul Butlin as part of the undercard for Kell Brook's IBF welterweight world title eliminator against Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko, which will take place in Brook's home town of Sheffield.
But when asked if he was looking forward to fighting without the pressure of being the headline act, Joshua replied: "No. I will still treat it like I am the headliner because there is still the pressure to win and still the pressure to perform well."
Joshua's first opponent as a professional was Emanuele Leo; an Italian who whilst being unbeaten before the October 5 bout, had only taken part in eight professional fights despite being 32 years old.
Butlin on the other hand has been a pro for more than a decade and the 37-year-old has fought the likes of former IBO Cruiserweight champion Jonathan Banks, world title challenger and European belt holder Dereck Chisora and Paolo Vidoz, who is a former Olympic Bronze medalist. Butlin may have lost 19 of his 33 professional bouts but he has vast experience having fought in Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Poland, Italy and Denmark.
Joshua, who grew up in Watford and now lives in Golders Green, said: "He is definitely a step up from Leo. I think he has told the Daily Sport that he can beat me so it should be good. It will be entertaining."
The 24-year-old's third professional bout will be on Thursday, November 14 when Joshua headlines a night of boxing at York Hall, in Bethnal Green against a yet unannounced opponent.
The evening will include a Britain versus USA Prizefighter International Heavyweight event where three-weight World champion James Toney will be one of the competitors.
Ben Ileyemi, who lives in Edgware and introduced Joshua - his cousin - to the sport, is also set to fight at the show at York Hall.
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