Joshua: Right time to turn professional
Olympic super-heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has no regrets over deciding to turn professional, but admits he thought about defending his gold medal at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
On Wednesday, Joshua put pen to paper in a deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom stable and will now make his pro debut headlining an October 5 card at the O2 Arena in London.
The 23-year-old has not featured in the ring since defeating Italy's Roberto Cammarelle to win gold at the Excel Arena last August, but admitted he took plenty of time to ensure he made the right decision.
"This is what I want to be involved in and I know, moving forward, that it will never be a decision that I regret and that is the main thing," Joshua said.
"I just want to get the ball rolling. I realised the improvements I was making so after the [2012 Olympic] Games I thought I could go on to Rio and capture a second gold medal. I looked at that option and I looked at the professional option.
"I'm glad that I fulfilled my dreams at the Games, after that I met with Eddie [Hearn] and talked to a lot of people. I listened and listened and I'm here now after about 10 months and I feel in my heart and in my mind that this is what I want to do."
Hearn confirmed his excitement over Joshua, who joins the likes of Carl Froch, Kell Brook and fellow Olympic champion Luke Campbell in the promoter's stable.
"For me this is a very pleasing day," said Hearn. "We have all seen what Anthony Joshua has achieved in just 43 amateur fights, culminating in Olympic gold.
"Finally, I believe we have a heavyweight in this country we can get very, very excited about. He has got it all, speed, power and he looks the part."