An “obsessed” Wladimir Klitschko is preparing to face a carbon copy of himself when he takes on Anthony Joshua on April 29.
The two heavyweights sat down to talk with host Johnny Nelson on ‘The Gloves Are Off’ show ahead of their huge clash at a sold-out Wembley Stadium.
Ukrainian Klitschko will bid to regain the IBF and WBA titles he lost to Tyson Fury in November 2015 when he steps between the ropes in the English capital to take on an old sparring partner.
Joshua was still at the start of his pro career when he was invited to work with Dr Steelhammer three years ago. Since then, the Englishman has left a trail of destruction in the division, reeling off 18 straight wins inside the distance.
“I’m obsessed with my goal to raise my hands after the fight and leave the ring as the winner.”
Klitschko, who tried to sign his fellow Olympic gold medalist to his K2 Promotions company, sees many similarities between the two rivals who showed a great deal of respect to one another during the show.
“We look alike, size-wise. Arm length is pretty much the same,” the 41-year-old said.
“Biceps? Maybe in this smaller T-shirt (he points to a smiling Joshua) you look better. Punching power, we don’t need to talk about.
“There are a lot of equal things. Preparation, camp, altitude training, nutrition. We can name a lot of things. The more I look at it, it’s a copy. Different, but in a certain way it’s a copy.
“But I’m obsessed with my goal to raise my hands after the fight and leave the ring as the winner.
“After having the experience in my last fight (against Tyson Fury)…I’m not happy with that. But this obsession, in other words, is like a threat going through my heart and my mind, and I totally love it.”
The respect was mutual across the table, as Joshua admitted to learning a great deal while helping Klitschko prepare for his fight against Kubrat Pulev in November 2014.
“I was a student preparing Klitschko for his fight against [Kubrat] Pulev. That was it. There was no other reason I was in that ring, plus to learn how a champion sets up camp,” ‘AJ’ said.
“Competing, it’s different. There are no two ways about it. As I’ve said, even brothers fight. Cousins fight. Sometimes it can get heated. We will fight and compete, push and shove, try and hit harder. That’s just how it’s going to get down on April 29. There’s no secret to it.”