International Boxing Federation (IBF) heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua admits he will need to raise his game if he is to defeat Ukranian Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 plus fans at the Wembley Stadium in London next year.
The fighter from Great Britain defeated American Eric Molina in the third round via total knockout at the Manchester Arena on 11 December registering his 18th consecutive victory in the ring to maintain an unbeaten 100% knockout record.
Despite his brilliance in the ring, Joshua knows that Klitschko is a tough nut to crack and he will need to be at his best if he has to come out on top against the Ukranian who is a former champion himself. The 40-year-old went more than a decade unbeaten until his loss to former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury at Dusseldorf in 2015.
"There are different degrees of animals in this sport. We're all predators, all lions. But we come together as one, to represent the sport of boxing. His brother Vitali retired and became a mayor in Ukraine. They use boxing as a platform and that's how I want to present myself. We're very clear about the respect we've got for each other, but we're clear on a competitive level, as well", Joshua said, as quoted by The Guardian.
"In order to beat Klitschko I need to improve to another level. He's different. He boxes down the middle and has taken his amateur style to the pros. Who have I boxed like Klitschko? No one. He'll be different from Molina who did not present me with opportunities, and I had to create them. Klitschko will present those opportunities because he will be boxing in front of me", the boxer added.
Klitschko for his part has not fought since his shock loss to Fury in November 2015 while Joshua has been in action more regularly fighting 18 times since his professional debut five years back in 2013. The Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko fight will take place for the World Boxing Association (WBA) and IBF heavyweight titles on 29 April, 2017 at the Wembley Stadium.