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Anthony Joshua: I'm training harder than I was for Wladimir Klitschko

Anthony Joshua will try and win a third world heavyweight belt when he takes on WBO titleholder Joseph Parker at Cardiff's Principality Stadium on March 31, and he believes he is already in better shape than he was at this stage of training for his two previous fights.

The English boxer is currently lighter now -- 17 stones, eight pounds -- than he was when he faced Carlos Takam at a career-heaviest of 18 stones, two pounds.

Joshua says his lighter weight is down to his hard training regime and a determination to impress against New Zealander Parker, rather than punish his rival champion for calling him "king of steroids" and questioning his punch resistance.

"Last week we did 20 rounds in the gym which I wasn't even doing for the [Wladimir] Klitschko fight, and what have we got?" Joshua told reporters.

"We're still 11 weeks to the fight. We're steps ahead. Obviously it's down to performance and occasion, but in terms of steps to where we are, to replicate the Klitschko and Takam fights, we are leaps and bounds ahead."

Heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua hopes to add one more belt to his collection with a victory over Joseph Parker. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Joshua, who lives in north London when he is not training, has made some slight alterations to his daily schedule which he believes will lead to improvements against 26-year-old Parker (24-0, 18 KOs).

"I've learnt from experience of training camps to still work hard but I've added intelligence to it," said Joshua, who is trained by Rob McCracken.

"We've changed training a little bit, we've changed little things, diets, recovery, physio, times of training to make things work.

"If I start training at 6 p.m. I won't finish till 10 p.m. After the training you do your extras which can take up to half an hour. We always have a little banter and a joke after the session and that leads us to 11 p.m.

"To get back at 11:15 p.m., to chill out, settle down you're at 11:30 p.m., 11:45 p.m., you eat, you're up again at 6:30 a.m., 7 a.m., you haven't even had enough time to digest your food, which leads to you putting on weight.

"I'm not sleeping as late, I'm eating earlier and that's affecting my weight.

"The only luxury I've done is put up black out blinds, when I'm trying to sleep in the afternoon."

Author: Nick Parkinson, ESPN

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