Anthony Joshua admits “there is no future” if he fails to beat Otto Wallin on the “Day of Reckoning” in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
The two-time world champion is aiming to win his third fight of 2023 after already gaining victories over Jermaine Franklin Jr and Robert Helenius earlier in the year as he looks to step back to the top of the heavyweight division.
Joshua has three career defeats to date, Andy Ruiz Jr inflicted his first loss in 2019 before Oleksandr Usyk beat him for the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles on two occasions.
The 34-year-old understands that defeat could be damaging for his future in the sport.
He told a press conference: “I know where I’m going in my life but I’ve got to say this is a checkpoint and if I don’t get past this, there is no future so I’m fully locked in to Otto Wallin and doing the job.
“Pure focus on Saturday, that’s with my heart, soul and every cell in my body is focused on Otto Wallin and knowing what I can do.”
Joshua has looked focused in the build-up to the fight and explained he only has one thing on his mind.
He added: “I’m looking to do a good job and what more can I say, I will do a good job.
“I’m here to fight, I’m not here to party, I want to perform well and put that pressure on myself because I want to win, I have that urge to win and want to hurt my opponent as well.”
Swedish fighter Wallin, 33, has just one career defeat to his name, narrowly losing to Tyson Fury in 2019 but has won all six of his fights since.
Wallin vows to win the fight on Saturday and does not think it will be an ‘upset’ if he does so.
He said: “Its a big fight and big opportunity I’ve worked hard to be here and now it’s time to enjoy the moment, win the fight and move on.
“I’m going to win the fight and it shouldn’t be an upset, it’s natural and it’s my time, I’m happy to be here. I’m just trying to be myself, people say I talk a lot but I just answer them with what I feel, and I’m not trying to make anything up its the truth if people don’t like it fine, but its true.”
Deontay Wilder takes on Joseph Parker in the co-main event of the evening on a card which features eight fights.
Wilder has claimed 42 of his 43 victories by the way of knockout and insists he will do the same on Saturday.
He said: “I’ve come here to do what I do best, it’s something that comes naturally and I’m looking to do it again. Don’t blink baby, bam good night.
“I come to do what I do best, and that’s what the fans want to see, no one wants to see a 12-round fight and we are heavyweights and hard hitters, they wanna see us fight and then afterwards go party. Nowadays my name is called doctor sleep.”
Parker promised to put on a display for those in attendance.
He added: “I’ve had a great camp and coming into this fight with a great game plan, great strategy and respect to Wilder but I’m here to do a job and I’m here to win.
“We have a great camp and the people involved but when I get out there I’m going to put on a display.”