-With April 2017 Fight Against Wladimir Klitschko
Nigerian-born British heavyweight boxer, Anthony Olaseni Olufemi Joshua believes his fight against Wladimir Klitschko on April 29 next year will transform him from a ‘champion to a legend overnight.’
The dominant IBF title holder shared a stage with the veteran Ukrainian as both men afforded one another respect in the pre-fight press conference.
However, Joshua is under no illusion that fighting Klitschko will be a step up in class and is preparing accordingly and said: ‘Knockout is the cherry on top but to win, whichever way, is very possible.
‘This is a fight that can change you from champion to legend overnight. It’s the type of fight that can change the way people view you.
‘I definitely try to take inspiration from Wladimir. He’s a good man, a great man. My preparation starts now. I can take what I built from the last camp into this one, so we’re ahead of the game.
‘Sparring, though, is very different to a fight so I can’t say I’ve been 12 rounds yet. But I am going to prepare for a 12-round fight, to get stronger, fitter.’
Joshua wants to use the success of Lennox Lewis as a blueprint for the calm way he handles himself, a marked change from the usual drama of heavyweight contests.
‘They say hard work can pay off and all that training in the gym has paid off here. There’s a lot of respect between us, which is different these days. The Klitschkos and Lennox (Lewis) were the blueprint that I will follow.’
Klitschko on the other hand is desperate for redemption after losing to Tyson Fury, and he spoke of his obsession to be crowned as champion once more when he takes on a man 13 years his junior aged 27.
He said: ‘I am obsessed to become a champion again. A year and a half break, is it good, is it bad..? I feel it’s good. My last performance was not good, I was not holding my head up after the fight and my motivation is as high as the sky.
‘The Fury defeat was a wake-up call. I remember the words of Emmanuel Steward ‘your signature fights are going to come up’ and this is certainly a signature fight.
‘I call him my little bro but even with my actual bro we are very competitive. We will both perform to our best in the ring. My goal and target is to become a three-time world champion.
‘Over the last year I have been holding myself back. If Anthony wins this fight I will congratulate him, but when I win this fight I will help him to come back.’