After destroying American veteran Kevin Johnson inside two rounds in May in what was meant to be his toughest test yet, the former Olympic gold medalist feels he is on a faster than anticipated career arc, possibly eyeing a world title shot towards the end of 2016/early 2017 should everything go as planned.
At today’s presser to announce the fight with Cornish, he said;
“There’s no turning back now. I thought I would need three years to learn and make mistakes, so I am ahead of schedule. Gary won’t just talk a good game like Kevin Johnson. He’s undefeated and will bring it on the night because he’s got confidence of an unbeaten fighter and he’ll bring the best out of me, and I’ll do the same for him.
“The date has given me a chance to recover my body from May 30 and have a nice long camp for Sept. 12, so I expect to be at my explosive best on the night. Gary brings the Scottish crowd, who are unbelievable, and I hope they travel down as it’s going to be a great night.”
Joshua already has a fight penciled in against old amateur foe Dillian Whyte, most probably for the British title in November or December, although there is no date fixed yet. In spite of that hectic schedule, he is not looking past his man.
For his own part, Cornish, who boasts a 21-0, 12ko slate is intent on spoiling the party, having never tasted defeat as an amateur or professional, and knows that despite being the underdog, he is not to be underestimated;
I’m very hungry for this fight,” he said. “We’ve both beaten what has been put in front of us, no more, no less. My KO record is building because I’ve found my power now and I know I will cause him more problems than everyone else he’s boxed, combined. We’re a step up in class for each other. I know that I am the underdog, but I would not be here if I didn’t believe I could beat him and beat him convincingly.
“If I wanted to fight him for the money, I would wait until next year when I would be 26-0 and the fight might be for more than one belt. I am ready now and I’ll prove it on Sept. 12. I know what I have to do. I am not looking forward to the camp because I know how hard I have to work to be ready for this fight, but I will put that work in and more because that’s the only way I know how to train.”