"AJ is one of the strongest in the division, I'm happy to have this opportunity and we will give the fans a good fight".
"If I had a pecking order it would be Wilder, Dillian (Whyte) and then Fury", Joshua told taskSPORT.
The 39-year-old Povetkin, like Joshua an Olympic gold medallist, had previously lost only to Klitschko and over the distance when the great Ukrainian was at his peak.
United Kingdom rapper Nines, meanwhile, performed a spin of his song "I see you shining" as the intro for Joshua to come out for his ring walk.
Anthony Joshua has tipped the scales ahead of fighting Alexander Povetkin on Saturday night.
"Joshua is not even close".
Since adding his third world title with March's victory over Joseph Parker, the return of Tyson Fury and frustration over his inability to secure a unification match-up with WBC champion Deontay Wilder has threatened that very reputation. Both boxers shipped punishment, with Povetkin sporting a significant cut to the left eye. But Povetkin was throwing and landing more power shots than Joshua at this point.
Povetkin looked hurt but was able to get back to his feet, but was still badly hurt.
Povetkin's career has been marred by failed drug tests, but after finishing up a drug suspension a year ago, Povetkin returned to form, knocking out David Price in his last fight to become the mandatory challenger to Joshua's title.
But Povetkin could do nothing to repel the punches that rained down on him in the deciding seventh round.
A booming right hand saw Povetkin (34-2) sag and a clean left hook followed by a straight right sent him groggily to the canvas, with no chance of avoiding a first stoppage loss of his career amid the follow-up barrage that followed.
"Well, shit just got serious".
When the fight resumed, Joshua showed no mercy and referee Steve Gray jumped in as the champion landed concussive blows after one minute and 59 seconds of the seventh round.
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