Wladimir Klitschko thinks Anthony Joshua has improved his chances of beating him

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Two of the biggest fights in British boxing in 2017 are edging closer towards us with every week and yet the build-up for them couldn't be any more different if they tried.

David Haye's imminent bout with Tony Bellew has been overshadowed by the pair frequently trading insults and their bust-up during a press conference a couple of months ago - behaviour boxing fans have been accustomed to seeing in recent years.

However, the preparation for the world title showdown between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko has taken the complete opposite approach.

There has been a mutual respect at every promotional event and press conference the two heavyweights have attended ahead of the fight and there has been no need for mind games to generate interest in a battle everyone already wants to witness.

Of course, Klitschko is very familiar with how the build-up to fights can become a mental war after facing both Haye and Tyson Fury but the Ukranian is pleased that no such tactics have been used by Joshua.

The 40-year-old actually thinks Joshua has given himself a better chance of winning by avoiding the kind of strategy Haye and Fury used against him outside the ring.

"It's great for boxing that this event is going to be promoted the way it is; without any abuse, verbal, physical or any other shape of it," Klitschko told Sky Sports.

"I heard that many times from David Haye and Tyson Fury. I just recently heard it at the New York press conference from Anthony, that it's all about a mental game.

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"But I'm not playing games. I'm serious with what I'm doing. There are no mental games from me.

"Maybe it is something you can use in a way but it is not going to work on my skin; it is too thick. Eventually people get under their (own) skin, which happened in the case of David Haye and unfortunately for Tyson Fury.

"That's why I don't play these games and I am straightforward. People trying to get under my skin are concentrating on the wrong things, mind games, and are getting themselves twisted in their own mind."

Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko Press Conference

The April 29 fight looks set to be watched by the biggest post-war British boxing crowd, with 90,000 people expected to fill Wembley Stadium.

At the moment, many of the bookies fancy Joshua to defend his IBF belt with some offering odds as little as 2/5.

And although the build-up has been friendly so far, you can expect all pleasantries to be thrown out the window once that first bell rings.

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