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Joshua determined to set up a showdown with Klitschko

By Mark Stanforth

Anthony Joshua laughed off the table-throwing antics of heavyweight rivals Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte as he faced the media for the final time ahead of tomorrow night's IBF title defence against Eric Molina in Manchester.

In contrast with the combustible pair who face possible sanction from the British Boxing Board of Control after their violent confrontation on Wednesday, the 27-year-old cut a relaxed figure ahead of a contest he is expected to win comfortably.

Refusing to directly criticise the pair, who are due to clash for Whyte's British title on the same card, Joshua said: "People like entertainment and people like boxing so I think we're covering the full package - both the WWE (World Wresting Entertainment) part and the old-school fighting part.

"I could sit here and say I will knock Eric out in a round but that's not my style. It is two warriors coming together and the better man will walk away with his hands in the air."

Molina's main qualification for coming into contact with the surging Joshua tomorrow night 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 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. I'm injury-free and physically in the best shape I could be, and now it's just about getting the mind right."

Joshua will be helped in that regard by his reunion with former amateur mentor Rob McCracken, who will undertake his first bout as the Watford fighter's full-time trainer, re-forging a link from their days together on the GB Boxing squad.

"It's important to have experience in my corner," added Joshua of the former world middleweight contender. "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."

Challenger Molina added: "I am 100 per cent ready. I want to test this man, I want to take him to the limit."

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