You’ll probably have heard by now that Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko are set for a world title fight at Wembley on April 29.
The pair will compete for the IBF world heavyweight championship as well as the vacant WBA super title. Joshua, 27, and Klitscho, 37, have been in Germany this week, promoting the bout – like it needs it.
And the Brit has told Sky Sports that he doesn’t need to trash talk the veteran Ukrainian. The respect Joshua holds for his opponent is unparalleled, and Klitschko returned the favour – remarking the build up as ‘refreshingly different’ from his previous fights with Brits Tyson Fury and David Haye.
Joshua told Sky Sports: “You’re not dealing with two novices – I don’t need to talk about what I’m going to do to and how I’m going to knock him out.
“You know Wladimir Klitschko and you’re getting to know Anthony Joshua. The fight speaks volumes for itself. I don’t need to talk reckless about what this fights about.
“I’m not perfect but I have my ways about me and I was raised with conduct and discipline, that’s just who I am. I would rather defend my corner than provoke it.”
I’d move quickly to reiterate the wise words of Klitschko, the build up to this fights has been a breath of fresh air. The mutual respect between two boxing greats has set up for what will surely be an enthralling bout.
Yet, as is always the way with sport, the minute they step into that ring on Saturday evening all that will disappear. Both men will have their eyes solely set on victory, their out of the ring relationship with fade into irrelevance. And Joshua, 18-0, was quick to raise this point.
“Everyone’s saying we’re friends and stuff. Yeah the respects there. I never expected to compete with Wladimir so he’s someone where I can say I’m going to analyse what he’s about.
“But now we’re fighting? Trust me. Let that first jab hit me or hit him. It changes. In films, when they taste blood and you see red, it’s a fight. That’s what I train to do and the best man will win.”
It’s undoubtedly an exciting time in the world of boxing, and the undefeated Brit echoed these words when asked of his excitement of what lies ahead.
“Yeah, you can hear it in my voice.
“At heavyweight in general, Tyson Fury did a great job in beating Klitschko and he needs to get back in the ring doing what he does best.
“But right now, with or without Tyson Fury, this division is hot. It always has been and it always will be.
“It was a matter of time (before Joshua got his world title shot). This time has come earlier than expected but it was always going to happen for me. Now that I’m here, I feel comfortable.”
With or without the mind games, the tension is always palpable heading into such a huge fight in both of their careers.
For Klitschko, it’s a chance to reinvigorate himself after his defeat to Tyson Fury. Whilst for the Brit, he has the chance to truly cement his position as one of the greats to grace the boxing arena.