Former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will walk away from the sport if he loses this Saturday night in his upcoming fight with contender Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena.
Joshua is already trying to recover from suffering back to back defeats at the hands of unified world champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Franklin himself is coming off a close points loss to Dillian Whyte, in a fight where some observers believe Franklin had done enough to win.
Joshua has not won a fight since 2020 – and third consecutive loss would be the final nail in the coffin.
“I will [retire]. I will retire if I lose. I’m not here to battle people. If people want me to retire I will retire,” Joshua told MailOnline. “I’m not going to fight if people don’t want me too. It’s not even about the money. It’s about the competitor in you. That’s what’s important.
“It [pressure] comes with the business and it comes with the territory, I know that. I know when I am retired, I am gonna be chilling. I’m gonna be thinking f—- everyone. I am done. You lot put so much pressure on me so when I am done, the chains are going to be gone. I am going to be laughing and loving life.”
WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie, who at one point was managed by Joshua, believes the British star will have no issues with handling the pressure of the upcoming fight.
“He’s been in high-pressure situations for a long, long time,” Okolie told Sky Sports News.
“That’s 10 plus years now [since his Olympic Games]. We spoke this weekend, he’s in good spirits. He’s feeling strong, fit and he’s done a lot of sparring. So I don’t want to speak for him but I expect to go in there and put on a great show. This is world-class boxing so I don’t expect him to necessarily go and get it done in one round. But I expect him to win in impressive fashion.”