London: Britain’s world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will be over a stone heavier than his veteran Russian opponent Alexander Povetkin when he defends his title at Wembley on Saturday night.
Joshua — whose International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organisation titles will be on the line — weighed in on Friday at 17 stone 8 pounds (111.5 kilograms), whilst 39-year-old Povetkin tipped the scales at 15st 12lbs.
Joshua, 28, has admitted to feeling under “tons of pressure” as he returns to the scene of arguably his greatest triumph, an 11th-round stoppage of former champion Wladimir Klitschko last year.
Joshua, the 2012 Olympic champion in London, comes into Saturday’s contest — with 80,000 spectators expected — having won all 21 of his professional bouts, although his last fight, against New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in Cardiff in March, saw him go the distance for the first time as a pro before he secured a unanimous points decision.
Povetkin, like Joshua a former Olympic champion with his moment of glory coming in Athens in 2004, served notice of his punching power on the undercard of that bout, with a sickening knockout of Britain’s David Price.
The only blemish on the Russian’s 35-fight record is a 2013 points defeat by Klitschko.