This morning in England at the press conference for Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, it was announced that these two highly respected fighters will be meeting in the ring April 29, 2017. The fight will be held at Wembley Stadium in the UK that holds 90,000 people. It is expected to be one of the biggest fights of the year. Joshua at 27 years old, #2 Heavyweight in the world, and a record of 18-0 will go toe to toe with Klitschko at 41 years of age with a record of 64-4. Both are Olympic champions and world-title holders, and both have a wild hunger to claim this victory.
For Klitschko, after his recent loss against The Fury, he wants to show the world the real fighter he is. He said, “I am obsessed to become a champion again. A year-and-a-half break, is it good, is it bad?… I feel it’s good. My last performance was not good, I was not holding my head up after the fight and my motivation is now as high as the sky. The Fury defeat was a wake-up call. I remember the words of Emanuel Steward ‘your signature fights are going to come up’… and this is certainly a signature fight.” At 41, with a total of 68 professional fights, Klitschko may be reaching that point of no return. To take on a fight against Anthony Joshua shows he’s still in the game, and is fighting for his reputation.
For Joshua, Klitschko will add another level of credibility to him as a fighter. He’s been asked since he turned pro when he would fight Klitschko, and now is the time. Joshua has never fought a full fight, as he has ended each with a KO or TKO. Joshua said his past fight camp for Molina, whom he finished in the third round just four days ago on 12/10, has him ready. He will continue training for the next four months for this fight.
Read the full transcript below, courtesy of The Telegraph:
“Everyone knows this is THE fight and it is a promoter’s dream.”
“How many April 29s do I have left? I’ll be 41 for the fight. It’s everything to me. I will remain calm before the storm comes, it’s a very special fight, a special opponent, a special arena.
“I would say this is 50/50 – our size, our strength. And age is just a number. Both Olympic champions, both world-title holders. This is very even and I don’t know when another fight like this will happen in the heavyweight division.”
“I definitely try to take inspiration from Wladimir. He’s a good man, a great man.
“My preparation starts now. I can take what I built from the last camp into this one, so we’re ahead of the game.
“Sparring, though, is very different to a fight so I can’t say I’ve been 12 rounds yet. But I am going to prepare for a 12-round fight, to get stronger, fitter.”
“They say hard work can pay off and all that training in the gym has paid off here.
“There’s a lot of respect between us, which is different these days. The Klitschko’s and Lennox (Lewis) were the blueprint that I will follow.”
“Fighting in England is special. It’s a different audience. I feel connected with the audience. I have never fought in a 90,000 stadium. This is the Mecca of sport. Boxing originated in England and I feel I am arriving home.
“I may be 41 when this fight happens, but look at Bernard Hopkins.”
“I have the same people behind me as in the past. It is the right team. My preparations will be based on experience.
“I was, I am and I will be very complimentary of Anthony, The first time saw him perform in 2012 I saw this man fall into my footsteps. Whatever the outcome of this fight, I truly believe Joshua is an outstanding athlete and it’s great that we eventually meet. I know that Emanuel Steward would have been impressed with him.
“Anthony was always very respectful and learning all the time, asking lots of questions. He is still learning and this process will take a long time. He is getting self-confident, training with modern technologies and the results are there to see. He’s 27 and a world champion. How could I not be impressed with that? I call him my little bro but even with my actual bro we are very competitive. We will both perform to our best in the ring.”
“At the end of the day it’s all about winning. This is an amazing opportunity and the time is now. This is a man I need to defeat to build my respect in this division. When I first turned pro there were questions ‘when are you going to fight him or him’, but now the time is right.
“I can’t really take away anything from Klitschko’s fight against Fury because, as he says, he is more focused now. We will come together and put on a great show.”
“I am obsessed to become a champion again. A year-and-a-half break, is it good, is it bad?… I feel it’s good. My last performance was not good, I was not holding my head up after the fight and my motivation is now as high as the sky. The Fury defeat was a wake-up call. I remember the words of Emanuel Steward ‘your signature fights are going to come up’ and this is certainly a signature fight.”
“My goal and target is to become a three-time world champion. Over the last year I have been holding myself back. If Anthony wins this fight I will congratulate him, but when I win this fight I will help him to come back.
“I will need sparring partners. My direct competitors who want to knock me out, we will call on them. Partners the same size as me and Anthony.”
“Knockout is the cherry on top but to win, whichever way, is very possible. This is a fight that can change you from champion to legend over night. It’s the type of fight that can change the way people view you.”
And here’s Joshua…
… both now shaking hands as the press go nuts with the cameras.
Klitschko has arrived…
… he’s at his seat and shaking hands with promoter Eddie Hearn.