Anthony Joshua insists he was not hurt in sparring after sporting a number of cuts and a big bruise on his face ahead of his heavyweight clash with Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday night.
The 29-year-old faced the media on Monday evening in New York as he prepares to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO titles at Madison Square Garden in his United States debut.
AJ’s preparations were already hampered after original opponent Jarrell Miller was handed a drugs ban, and he looked a little worse for wear at a press junket to promote Saturday’s fight.
Asked about the cuts and bruising on his face, Joshua told Seconds Out:
“Oh no, that was just physio stuff really.
“No-one really does that to me in sparring and stuff like that. So that was just more physio stuff. But that’s it.”
Asked what he meant by ‘physio stuff’, Joshua added:
“Like rehabilitation, recovery.” Joshua is used to having a training camp in Sheffield and then moving back down to London closer to the fight, but this time he has been in Miami and New York and says he was keen to rejig his preparation schedule.
“I’ve had 10 years of that feeling of being burnt out by the time I get to the ring,” AJ told BBC Sport.
“Even in the Povetkin fight I was so ill and tired. This camp, I knew I couldn’t afford that again and again as it shortens the career. So it’s learning but it’s taken time. We are finally pulling it together.
“It’s time to rebuild that name again. I feel like an underdog and like I want to prove myself.”