Anthony Joshua has backed the British Boxing Board of Control’s decision to allow Dereck Chisora’s heavyweight bout against Dillian Whyte to go ahead in Manchester tonight.
Chisora was fined £25,000 and handed a suspended two-year ban at an emergency Board hearing after the pair’s press conference erupted into violence on Wednesday.
The Board is understood to have given serious consideration to scrapping the contest, which is the chief support for Joshua’s IBF title defence against American Eric Molina.
Although Joshua’s relaxed demeanour is in sharp contrast to his combustible counterparts, the 27-year-old laughed off the incident and believes they are an inevitable part of modern boxing.
Joshua said: “It’s wasted energy – I’ve been there with Dillian and we just didn’t get along. I wasted a lot of energy and you saw that in the type of fight I fought.
“At the end of the day, this is fighting. Throughout the history of boxing, you have these type of incidents. It doesn’t happen at every press conference, but one out of 100 it may happen.
“This is not tennis, this is a gladiatorial sport. It’s fight or flight, so you’re going to get it. You saw that with Tony Bellew and David Haye – guys are going to attack each other. It happens sometimes.”
In addition to the fine and suspended ban handed to Chisora, the Board also elected to remove the bout’s sanction as a British heavyweight title defence by Whyte.
Joshua may have good reason to exhibit a more relaxed attitude as he is widely seen to face an easy night against Molina, whose main qualification for coming into contact with the surging Joshua tonight is a commendable effort he put up against current WBC champion Deontay Wilder last June, when he lasted until the ninth round.
But the 34-year-old Texan is clearly seen as a stepping stone to a major showdown against Wladimir Klitschko next year, and Joshua believes another quick win will herald the start of the prime period of his career.
Joshua, reunited with Rob McCracken as his full-time trainer, said: “People were asking me 18 months ago when I was going to be fighting the big names, and I said, give me 18 months, and that time is now.
“We are starting to move forward and I’m getting more experienced. It’s important to have experience in my corner.
“Rob’s been a fighter himself so when he’s telling me to throw a combination or do an extra round, I respect his opinion, because he’s lived it.”