Joshua is expecting a tough challenge against Povetkin.
"It's alright fighting men who are 39 years old, half your size. That's why I've got to put on my dancing shoes and be sharp with my feet", said Joshua after the last face-to-face appearance between the two before they meet in the ring.
The venue and date of Joshua's next fight have always been determined - Wembley Stadium on April 13 - but the opponent is still unclear.
Who do you think Joshua will fight next?
Joshua's youth and his activity, the fighters he has fought, I thought he would come through.
Joshua, undefeated in his professional career with 20 knockouts in 21 fights, had been four pounds lighter for his previous title bout against New Zealand's Joseph Parker at Cardiff's Principality Stadium last March.
Joshua, 28, had a significant height and reach advantage of several inches over Povetkin.
Povetkin remained unsafe with his left hook and overhand right, but Joshua increasingly gained control through his jab and in the sixth landed a short right hand from close range that the Russian did well to shrug off. I will start training for a fight in early January.
And the first round ended with Povetkin, stooping low, rocking Joshua with a right uppercut that drew blood from the champion's nose.
But Joshua, who had a 4-inch height advantage and weighed in almost two stones heavier (246 pounds to Povetkin's 222), made better use of his jab later in the third round. "The champion needs to get themselves over here to the United Kingdom and we'll have a good dust-up".
"A fight with Deontay Wilder would be the biggest fight in world boxing", he said. Since then, criticism has largely been equal to the praise Joshua has received, including a breakthrough 2017 knockout of Klitschko in which Joshua was forced to overcome both a knockdown and stamina dump that almost cost him the fight.
Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs), 39, was impressively aggressive and consistently unsafe with left hooks and overhand rights.
"If I had a pecking order it would be Wilder, Dillian (Whyte) and then Fury", Joshua told taskSPORT. But the extended build has allowed both to grow and may end up making the expected April 13 date (regardless of whether Joshua faces Wilder or Fury) an even better classic than had it taken place earlier.