England’s Anthony Joshua clebrates beating USA’s Eric Molina during the IBF World Heavyweight Championship boxing match in Manchester, north-west England on December 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLIS
There were doubts that Wladimir Klitschko would fight Anthony Joshua. Where he was spurred on to get vengeance against Tyson Fury, there’s no personal animosity between the Ukrainian and Joshua.
But while Klitschko may not be fired up for this fight in quite the same way he would be for Fury, nevertheless Wladimir seemed full of enthusiasm and confidence as he faced Joshua at Wembley stadium to announce their April 29 heavyweight world title fight.
“I have an adrenalin rush in the blood, honestly, and I love it. I love it. I’ve been missing it. I was very comfortable where I was. Even if I was preparing and I did all good and well,” he said but added, “The emotions and the adrenalin in the blood and the challenge [you feel like] you’ve got to make it. You’ve got to do it a third time. You’ve got to bounce back.
With the perfect guy and it’s really measuring the skills because we are both skilled and I look forward to this challenge in the ring.”
Klitschko admits he was somewhat taken aback just to see Joshua at the press conference as the champion, with the IBF world title belt that the Ukrainian had held for so long. “It’s so familiar to me,” he thought. “That’s not yours.”
He insists the long time he’s had out of action, waiting for a rematch with Fury that never materialised, won’t affect him. In fact he draws on the example of his older brother, former WBC champion, Vitali Klitschko.
“This is the first time I’ve gone through such a long break in a quarter of a century. It sounds like I’m pretty old. But I don’t feel this way. Is it good? Is it bad? I heard from my brother that a four and a half year break, four and a half years, was good for him when he came back and fought for the title again. I didn’t know anything about it so it’s something that I’m going through right now,” Wladimir said.