Wladimir Klitschko defends his WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight title belts tomorrow in Germany against Mariusz Wach, his first fight without the last Emanuel Steward in nearly a decade. And despite his great sadness over the loss of a friend and mentor, Klitschko says he's happy to be fighting this weekend:
"I can show the spirit of Emanuel Stewart. He will carry us. "’m actually glad that we have this fight to look forward to. We can stay focused on this fight and finish what he’s been doing. It’s just better than sitting around doing nothing. Everybody has a job and we’re very excited."
Klitschko (58-3, 50 KO) has worked in this training camp with Johnathon Banks, himself an active heavyweight fighter and a Kronk disciple that the champion believes has the tools to be a very good trainer. Banks has a fight of his own lined up on November 17, when he faces Seth Mitchell in Atlantic City, live on HBO.
It's no doubt going to be a very emotional fight for Wladimir, but we're talking about a true professional here, something he became under the guidance and tutelage of Steward. I don't think we can really expect anything less than his best effort, and a prepared fighter. It's just the sort of guy Wladimir is.
Klitschko vs Wach will be aired in the U.S. by Epix tomorrow at 4:30 pm ET.