Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko at a London press conference ahead of the big fight on Saturday. Photo: Andrew Couldridge, Action Images via Reuters
Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko at a London press conference ahead of the big fight on Saturday. Photo: Andrew Couldridge, Action Images via Reuters
There was a huge media turn-out at the Joshua-Klitschko press conference on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Couldridge, Action Images via Reuters
There was a huge media turn-out at the Joshua-Klitschko press conference on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Couldridge, Action Images via Reuters
From left to right, trainer Robert McCracken, Anthony Joshua, promoter Eddie Hearn, Sky Sports' Adam Smith, Wladimir Klitschko, trainer Johnathon Banks and manager Bernd Bonte. Photo: Andrew Couldridge, Action Images via Reuters
From left to right, trainer Robert McCracken, Anthony Joshua, promoter Eddie Hearn, Sky Sports' Adam Smith, Wladimir Klitschko, trainer Johnathon Banks and manager Bernd Bonte. Photo: Andrew Couldridge, Action Images via Reuters
Anthony Joshua during the press conference. Photo: Andrew Couldridge, Action Images via Reuters
Anthony Joshua during the press conference. Photo: Andrew Couldridge, Action Images via Reuters
Announcer Michael Buffer brings in the fighters for the media briefing. Photo: Andrew Couldridge, Action Images via Reuters
Announcer Michael Buffer brings in the fighters for the media briefing. Photo: Andrew Couldridge, Action Images via Reuters

LONDON – Anthony Joshua claims victory over Wladimir Klitschko will take him a step closer to being remembered as an all-time boxing great.

The Briton faces the former world heavyweight No 1 in front of 90 000 fans at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday in the biggest fight the division has seen in years.

Joshua makes a third defence of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) title, and can also capture the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) belt if he can extend his unbeaten professional record to 19 wins.

The 27-year-old, who has knocked out all of his professional opponents, is aiming to become as dominant as Klitschko was, until the Ukrainian’s nine-and-a-half year reign as champion was ended by a shock points loss to Tyson Fury in November 2015.

The 2012 Olympic gold medallist insists he has not overlooked the danger of 41-year-old Klitschko, who has not fought since the Fury setback.

“I don’t underestimate any opponent,” Joshua said at a pre-fight press conference at the London headquarters of UK satellite broadcaster Sky on Thursday.

“No matter how big it is, I always try to strip everything back to reality, and it’s just me and a man swapping blows. I’m still up early in the morning and working late at night to prepare myself mentally and physically for any battle.

“April 29 is just another stepping stone towards greatness.

Anthony Joshua during the press conference. Photo: Andrew Couldridge, Action Images via Reuters


“Failure is without trying. There’s no fear that trembles through my body, and I never underestimate any man. It’s not rocket science. Let’s strip it back to what it is, and I’m someone who has left no stone unturned,” Joshua added.

“I’ve prepared for this from day one, and it will just be a win on the record and then we move forward.”

Joshua wants to become a global icon like previous world heavyweight champions Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis.

But the England-born boxer, who has Nigerian parents, insists fame has not and will not change him.

“Carrying the belt doesn’t change me as a person,” said Joshua. “I’m who I am, with or without the belt. It’s having the champion’s mentality, with or without the belt.

Announcer Michael Buffer brings in the fighters for the media briefing. Photo: Andrew Couldridge, Action Images via Reuters


“I can carry my name with pride. My name is Joshua and behind me, there are a million people who come from the same background as me.”

Joshua, however, has turned his life around after being arrested for possessing cannabis and intent to supply in 2010.

He only took up boxing in 2008 and four years later, he won Olympic gold as a novice amateur. Success quickly followed in the professional ranks after he made his paid debut three-and-a-half years ago.

“He’s the perfect example of how boxing can change someone’s life. He wants to challenge himself,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.