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Anthony Joshua ready for centre stage



Olympic hero faces third pro fight at York Hall on Thursday

Anthony Joshua MBE says he cannot wait to box at the York Hall on Thursday night, live on Sky Sports in the sold-out ‘Joshua and the Prizefighters’.

The Olympic Gold medal star faces Croatian Hrvoje Kisicek in his third pro outing and is hunting a hat-trick of KO wins.

After the grand debut at The O2 and a star turn on the undercard of Kell Brook’s win over Vyacheslav Senchenko at the packed Motorpoint Arena Sheffield, Thursday night brings him back down to earth in the spit-and-sawdust surroundings of York Hall. Joshua has been victorious here before as an amateur and is excited about performing in the spiritual home of British boxing.

“It is a really intimate theatre of boxing. There will be less than 2,000 people and everyone is over your head. The last time I boxed there was when I was an amateur, winning the ABAs. That was a great feeling so to go back there in my third pro fight with Prizefighter is going to be really good again. It is going to be great to get in there.

“The only thing I listen to about my prospects is what my coach tells me, and he tells me I am rubbish and I have a lot to work on,” said Joshua. “He tells me I have to keep my feet on the ground, that there are a lot of people out there who are better than me; that is why I need to keep on grafting in the gym.

“I do appreciate what people are saying about my prospects but it is early doors. I will challenge whoever they put in front of me to my best capability and give it my best behind the scenes so that I can showcase that I have been working hard under the bright lights. One step at a time, I have a long way to go.”

Joshua’s clash with Kisicek takes place between the semi-finals and final of the Team UK vs. Team USA Prizefighter Heavyweights which sees former three-weight IBF king James Toney lead the US quartet alongside Californian Damian Wills, former World Cruiserweight challenger Brian Minto and Florida’s Jason Gavern.

Michael Sprott is aiming to win Prizefighter for the second time and he’s joined in Team UK by Hackney’s Larry Olubamiwo, Milton Keynes’ Matt Legg and Hertfordshire’s Tom Little.