Ahead of their highly anticipated showdown this weekend, Wladimir Klitschko has warned Anthony Joshua to stop focusing on Tyson Fury and start focusing on him.
The 27-year-old Joshua is set to face his toughest task to date when he attempts to defend his IBF belt and win the vacant WBA title from former long-time world champion Klitschko.
However, the Brit has seemingly let his attention waver from Saturday’s opponent by getting into a war of words with former WBA champion and fellow countryman Tyson Fury.
Fury vacated his unified WBA, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles in October of last year due to issues with both his mental health and the boxing anti-doping body, but announced earlier this year that he was getting set for a return to the ring in the near future.
And since, he has used his Twitter account to take verbal jabs at every heavyweight on his radar, including Joshua.
Responding to Fury’s comments, in which he labelled the former Olympic gold medallist a “poor man’s Frank Bruno”, Joshua said: “Shut up and give me a date when you’ll be back (in the ring)”.
However, Klitschko has warned the young Brit not to get too distracted by Fury and to focus on their record-setting fight at Wembley on Saturday.
“Joshua is preparing for the 29th of April so he is better to keep his focus on the 29th and not react to anything else,” he warned.
“It looks like ‘AJ’ knows what he’s doing and as I said, he is very ambitious; let him react to whatever dogs are barking around. I am more focused on myself and my ego; I don’t care about Joshua and Fury or whatever dog fight he got into.”
Klitschko is no stranger to Fury’s verbal onslaughts – the Ukrainian hasn’t fought since a surprising loss to the controversial Englishman in November 2015. The two were set to rematch on several occasions, however, Fury’s personal issues kept getting in the way and the fight never actually came to fruition.
Fury was a massive underdog against Klitschko in Germany and the Ukrainian will need to cause a similar upset against Joshua in London on Saturday if he is to reclaim his heavyweight thrown from the undefeated Joshua.
Although at 41-years-old, and coming off of a 17-month layoff, the former champion is confident he still has another successful run in him.
“Hopefully I have a couple of years left in me. I was always saying health and motivation is very important.
“If one of these things is missing then it doesn’t make sense to continue. In regards to pressure, it’s just enjoyable. Anthony Joshua is a great fighter, I’m taking the best out there to be the best.”
A crowd of 90,000 is expected to be in attendance for Joshua vs Klitschko at Wembley on Saturday night, a post-war record.
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