Anthony Joshua expects Wladimir Klitschko to start fast on Saturday — but says age will catch up with the former champion.
We’re nearly there — Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium. But how much do you really know about the pair? Test your wits with ESPN’s expert quiz.
The best moments of Anthony Joshua’s professional career have come in his past four fights ahead of his toughest test yet — Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday.
Through his first 68 professional fights, which are former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko’s best victories? He could add another one Saturday night against Anthony Joshua.
Klitschko, now 41, is trying to win back two of the three world heavyweight title belts he lost to Joshua’s fellow Briton Tyson Fury by a shock points decision in November 2015.
The Ukrainian, who has been a professional since winning Olympic gold in 1996, will end a 17-month exile when he challenges undefeated Joshua, who is 14 years younger and has knocked out all 18 professional opponents.
Joshua believes Klitschko [64-4, 54 KOs] has seen better days.
“He will probably start fast because he won’t be able to keep the pace,” Joshua told reporters on Thursday.
“Father Time is something no one can deny. Father Time is genetical and I don’t think he will be able to cope with my training camp.
“I think 2005 was the good sharp Wladimir. In 2005 he was throwing more punches, boxing better. That’s the Wladimir Klitschko I have been watching because I’ve wanted to prepare for the best.”
Joshua defends his IBF belt for the third time and can also claim the vacant WBA title with a victory in front of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
But the 2012 Olympic gold medallist refuses to accept this will be the biggest fight he will ever have, nor that the occasion will get to him in north London.
“Is it a defining fight? I don’t think so because it won’t be the end of my career,” Joshua said to reporters on Thursday.
“When he gets beat that could be the end of him, that’s why it could be defining for him.
“It’s a military mind set. I’m a fighter. I’m not caught up with the entertainment. When you win, you just get up and fight again, you just carry on.”
Klitschko revealed at Thursday’s press conference he has sealed a memory stick with his prediction of how the fight will go into the robe he will wear to the ring, which he intends to auction for charity after Saturday.
But Joshua shrugged it off as ‘a strategy’ from the former champion.
“He is trying to make me angry because when I’m angry I don’t fight well,” said Joshua.
“I don’t dislike him, I just want to beat him.”