Anthony Joshua claims victory over Wladimir Klitschko will take him a step closer to being remembered as an all-time boxing great, AFP reports.
The Briton faces the former world heavyweight No 1 in front of 90,000 fans at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday in the biggest fight the division has seen in years.
Joshua makes a third defense of his International Boxing Federation title and can also capture the vacant World Boxing Association belt if he can extend his unbeaten professional record to 19 wins.
The 27-year-old, who has knocked out all of his professional opponents, is aiming to become as dominant as Klitschko was, until the Ukrainian’s nine-and-a-half year reign as champion was ended by a shock points loss to Tyson Fury in November 2015.
The London 2012 Olympic gold medallist insists he has not overlooked the danger of 41-year-old Klitschko, who has not fought since the Fury setback.
“I don’t underestimate any opponent,” Joshua said at a pre-fight press conference in London on Thursday.
“No matter how big it is, I always try to strip everything back to reality and it’s just me and a man swapping blows.
“I’m still up early in the morning and working late at night to prepare myself mentally and physically for any battle.
“April 29 is just another stepping stone towards greatness.
“Failure is without trying. There’s no fear that trembles through my body and I never underestimate any man. It’s not rocket science. Let’s strip it back to what it is and I’m someone who has left no stone unturned,” Joshua added.
“I’ve prepared for this from day one and it will just be a win on the record and then we move forward.”
Joshua wants to become a global icon like previous world heavyweight champions Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis.
But the England-born boxer, who has Nigerian parents, insists fame has not and will not change him.
“Carrying the belt doesn’t change me as a person,” said Joshua. “I’m who I am, with or without the belt. It’s having the champion’s mentality with or without the belt.”