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Anthony Joshua: 'This is a once in a lifetime experience and I want to put on a great show at Wembley Stadium'
Anthony Joshua says it is a ‘huge honour’ to be opening the undercard at Wembley Stadium this evening and insists he doesn’t feel under pressure despite an expected 80,000 crowd.
The Olympic champion from Watford boasts a record of five knock-out wins in as many bouts since turning professional in 2013 and will come up against a huge underdog in 38-year-old Matt Legg.
Saturday night is one of the biggest nights in British boxing history when Carl Froch defends his WBA and IBF super middleweight belts against George Groves.
Joshua’s fight is the first on the Matchroom show, which will be broadcast to millions of people around the world.
But Joshua stated: “The main thing is that I want to enjoy the whole experience so I am not feeling any pressure.
“This event is a once in a lifetime experience and I want to embrace all the positive energy and everyone there will want to be there to have a good time. I want to put on a great show.
“I had a minor injury so I had 30 days out of the ring and I’m used to fighting every month so being able to fight in a stadium like this is class. There was no way I would miss out on this one.”
“I’m only five fights into my career, so it's a huge honour to be involved in one of the biggest fights in the history of British boxing,” Joshua added.
Joshua’s fight with Legg is the first of the night and will be free-to-view before the rest of the event is on Sky Box Office.
“I’m aiming to start the night with a bang. He’s a domestic fighter and I know he’s going to give it everything and try to catch me off guard, so I’ll have to be wary,” admitted Watford-raised Joshua.
Promoter Eddie Hearn was keen to pick a British opponent for Joshua, who is 200/1 on with most bookmakers.
Hearn said: “We wanted to select a British opponent because we knew how much fighting here would mean to them and we know Matt won’t be here to make up the numbers.”
The undercard includes James DeGale’s IBF World super middleweight title eliminator with Brandon Gonzales, Jamie McDonnell’s fight with Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat for the vacant WBA bantamweight title and Kevin Mitchell meets Ghislain Maduma in a final eliminator for the IBF lightweight belt.
Hearn said: “This is a wonderful night for British boxing. I know we have Froch versus Groves as the main event but we have an undercard full of drama and full of opportunities.
“It is a huge night for everyone on the undercard.”
He added: “This is a huge night for British boxing and 80,000 fans will be here for what promises to be one hell of a night. The gentlemen sitting here will be part of history in fights which will determine the routes for their careers.
“That includes the Olympic gold medallist and future heavyweight champion of the world Anthony Joshua, who returns from a brief injury to kick-off the show.”
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