Tony Bellew claims something happened off-camera with Joshua and Klitschko

Fight time

According to part time boxing analyst and WBC cruiserweight champion 'Emeritus' Tony Bellew, Anthony Joshua briefly let the 'Mr Nice Guy' mask slip at Thursday's final press conference, telling opponent Wladimir Klitschko 'I'm going to hurt you'.

The polite handshakes, respectful smiles, and playful fist pumps have been all too evident in the build up to the IBF and WBA world heavyweight championship bout, set to take place at Wembley Stadium in front of a record 90,000 fight fans on Saturday night.

It's about time one of these two 'gentle giants' stoked the fire, and according to Bellew, AJ was the first to make a move.

Joshua's menacing warning followed on from Klitschko's revelation that he has recorded his prediction for the fight, and stored his thoughts on a USB stick.

The USB will be sewn into 'Dr Steelhammer's' gown. The gown will, in turn, be sold to the highest bidder after the fight - with all proceeds going to Klitschko's foundation for under-privileged youths in the Ukraine.

Perhaps a victorious Joshua will be the first to make a bid?!

Speaking about the two and their off-camera altercation, Bellew told Sky Sports: "I'm told yesterday that he turned the mike off when they got head-to-head and told Klitschko: 'I'm going to hurt you'.

"That is what is going to be needed. It's the kind of mentality that is needed, and that's what he will show," declared Bellew, no stranger to pre-fight mind games.

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Bellew also believes Klitschko is acting out of character in the build up to Saturday's showpiece - a possible attempt to cover up increasing pre-fight nerves, as the prospect of facing Britain's gold medal winning KO specialist becomes a reality.

"For Klitschko to start making predictions, that's very out of character. He's never done it before, so if anyone is feeling the pressure, it looks to be him," surmised the Evertonian, who ruled out any future meeting with Joshua straight after his shock victory over David Haye, stating the 27-year-old is "too big".

Bellew also believes the USB prediction act from Klitschko is a load of nonsense.


"[Klitschko] pulling out the USB stick was nonsense - I believe all that is on that stick is an episode of the Teletubbies. It's just a mind game."

Klitschko has continually stated his approval of the way Joshua conducts himself outside the ring, so this reported display of vicious intent may well have taken him by surprise.

Perhaps the timing is significant - there is little time left for the Ukrainian to rid himself of any demons AJ may have placed in his mind before the first bell rings.

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