Wladimir Klitschko (R) and Anthony Joshua were in New York today to sell their mega-fight
Wladimir Klitschko, having seen all the selfies Anthony Joshua has posted of his bulging biceps and expanding chest, permits himself a wry smile.
A heavyweight less wise might be intimidated by the young Englishman’s physique but Klitschko says: ‘All those big muscles give AJ the confidence to believe he can demolish people.
‘But did you hear about boxing? It’s the Sweet Science. If it wasn’t, anyone could pump up like that and smash everyone.’
‘It’s not all about lifting weights and body building. Boxers who seem the most vicious have been conquered.’
‘AJ is young and full of energy. He is working hard. But the most vicious boxers have been conquered.’
That is what Klitschko intends doing to Joshua in front of a 90,000 crowd at Wembley on April 29.
The older legend who is hell-bent on regaining his world heavyweight title from the hot new champion says: ‘I have a lot of respect for Anthony. He has tremendous commitment and physical ability. He can box. He can lift weights. He is strong.’
‘He could be the CrossFit world champion. But CrossFit is not boxing, where the ice is thin.’
In that fundamental element of the hardest game, the 41-year-old Klitschko believes Britain’s 2012 Olympic gold medallist, at 27, is still work in progress.
At his training camp up here in the cool air of the Austrian Tyrol the Ukrainian who dominated heavyweight boxing for a decade sniffs the chance to retrieve two of the belts – the IBF and WBA – which he lost to Tyson Fury 18 months ago.
Klitschko says: ‘AJ is not as rough as he was when he came here to spar with me a few years ago. But he is still raw. So is he making a mistake fighting me so soon?