Joshua prepared for mental fight

27 April 2017 11:58:45 EST

Anthony Joshua claims he is preparing mentally as well as physically for Saturday's massive heavyweight showdown against Wladimir Klitschko.

The 27-year-old Watford fighter, who has won all 18 professional fights to date courtesy of a stoppage, will put his IBF title and unbeaten record on the line against the 41-year-old former WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO champion in front of 90,000 fight fans at Wembley Stadium with the vacant IBO and WBA 'Super' belts vacated by Tyson Fury also up for grabs.

I am preparing myself not only for a physical battle but a mental battle with anyone. April 29 is another stepping stone towards greatness.

Anthony Joshua

Fury won those belts against Klitschko on a points decision in Dusseldorf, Germany, in November 2015 and the Ukrainian is determined to get them back this weekend.

Joshua has never been taken beyond seven rounds by any of his opponents, but the London 2012 Olympic gold medal winner believes this is by far the biggest fight of his career and can be a springboard for him to become a boxing great.

"I always try to strip things right back to basics," he said. "It is just me and a man trading blows and the best man will win.

"I am preparing myself not only for a physical battle but a mental battle with anyone. April 29 is another stepping stone towards greatness."

Klitschko interrupted when Joshua was asked how he would cope with losing his first fight after 18 successive stoppage successes.

He said: "I will help you. I've been there and done that. I shook it off and came back stronger. It's nothing to be scared about."

On his own hopes, the two-time world champion added at Thursday's press conference: "I'm going to fight a guy whose age is exactly the number of how long I have been in boxing. 27 years. Can you imagine that?

"Is it a degradation that I'm a challenger and an underdog in this fight? I don't think so. I think it's a great opportunity. I feel young, hungry, humble and totally obsessed with my goal to raise my hands again as the winner."

Joshua is 1/2 to win the fight, 4/6 via another stoppage, while Klitschko is 9/5 to win and 6/1 to prevail on points.

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