Wladimir Klitschko has in the past sort of played off the enormity of fights or the challenge of certain opponents, but he’s not doing that with his April 29 showdown against IBF heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua, calling Joshua “the toughest challenge” of Klitschko’s excellent career.
“One Olympic champion fighting another, one generation fighting another generation. There are lots of questions. Have I still got it? Is Anthony good enough now? The interest is tremendous, it is amazing, and I am really happy about it. For me it is an upgrade in my career as a fighter - to fight on the biggest stage I have ever had in front of 90,000 people.
“It is the toughest challenge I have ever had. He is a copy of me in certain ways, size-wise, and is a world champion.”
Klitschko, who will turn 41 a month ahead of the fight, hasn’t fought since 2015, and in that one, he looked listless in a loss to Tyson Fury. But the 27-year-old Joshua (18-0, 18 KO) presents a totally different style matchup. He’s built his name on shocking power, while Fury lulled Klitschko and stayed away from a firefight.
Klitschko (64-4, 53 KO) is looking to prove he still has plenty left in the tank, and a win over Joshua would pretty much put him right back on top of the mountain, what with Fury inactive and a bit of an opening at the No. 1 spot in the division as a result, with Joshua, Klitschko, and Deontay Wilder vying to be considered the world’s best heavyweight.