ANTHONY JOSHUA believes he was right to err on the side of caution against Joseph Parker in his last bout after watching Dillian Whyte’s struggles against the New Zealander.

Joshua became the unified WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion when he defeated Parker by a landslide decision at the Principality Stadium in March.

There were minor grumbles that Joshua failed to stop an opponent for the first time in his professional career, despite extending his perfect record to 21-0.

But Joshua pointed to Parker’s fight with Whyte in July, in which both combatants were knocked down before the Briton claimed a narrow points win, as proof that his game plan was correct in the Welsh capital.

“If I didn’t win that Parker fight, I wouldn’t be here now,” Joshua told Press Association Sport.

“If I went to try and knock him out, anything could have happened.

“Look at the fight with Dillian and Parker! By an inch he got that decision and I don’t want fights like that. I want to win clear and make sure that it sets up bigger and better things.”

Joshua will put his unbeaten record and three world titles on the line on September 22 against mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium.

“How I approach this fight is going to be completely different to how I approach the Parker fight because he’s a completely different style of fighter. But I’m confident,” Joshua added.

So, too, is Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken although he believes his charge will need to remain sharp against an opponent whose only loss in a 35-fight career was against Wladimir Klitschko in 2013.

“The task at hand is really important, Anthony’s got to be on point, he’s got to be concentrating and he’s got to be busy against Povetkin,” McCracken told Press Association Sport.

“Anthony’s job is to control the pace and break him down and not be there for the hooks, the feints to the body and the right hook, and feints to the body and left hook.

“Anthony’s got to be aware of that and alert to it every round for three minutes.

“He’s got upper body movement, Povetkin, so you’ve got to time him. He’s not always there for the jab and the right hand and he’s always dangerous with his counters, you can’t just let him walk in, dictate and throw, you’ve got to move and keep him off balance, as Klitschko did really well. He’s a top fighter and a dangerous opponent.

“It will be a tough challenge but one that I’m sure Anthony will come through and I’m sure he’ll learn a bit more on the night.”