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Joshua is giving no weight to Wlad's star attraction claim



Facing off: Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko size each other up for the final time at yesterday’s weigh-in

Facing off: Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko size each other up for the final time at yesterday’s weigh-in

AFP/Getty Images

Facing off: Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko size each other up for the final time at yesterday’s weigh-in

Anthony Joshua weighed a career-heaviest 17st 12lb 10oz as he dismissed as a "lie" challenger Wladimir Klitschko's claim the reason their Wembley Stadium fight is so big is because of him.

Klitschko, who was 10lb lighter at 17st 2lb 6oz, continued his attempts to get into the IBF heavyweight champion's mind by insisting tonight's fight - which is expected to be attended by a British boxing post-war record crowd of 90,000 - is "my event".

The 41-year-old remains the most decorated heavyweight of his era but his career could be defined or ended by the outcome of his attempts to again win the IBF and WBA titles, and he said: "This is my event, even if it's his home.

"The majority - not everybody but the majority - are his fans, I totally get it, but I'm taking it as my event, my night, my fight, my ring, my win.

"If you're focusing on somebody else, you're totally losing it. Mind games, whatever: focus on yourself. I'm focused on myself and I'm comfortable with myself. I don't care how that's going to be received by my opponent.

"I just feel like saying things and doing things the way I want to do it. I'm the man, this is my event and I'm the winner, already, before the fight. I am.

"I don't know if it's stupid or smart (that I've made a video recording of my fight prediction). I'm extremely confident: comfortable and confident.

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"I would say I've done it all, there's always something new that you learn, but I'm focused, concentrated, maybe nervous, but confident and comfortable."

The 27-year-old Joshua has consistently been both relaxed and confident throughout this fight's near five-month build-up, and asked about the Ukrainian's comments, he said: "Lie. Lie.

"He thinks it's about him? It takes two to tango. It definitely takes two to tango.

"It's a very defining fight for himself, isn't it? April 29 is a lot, because when he gets beaten, that could be the end of him. That's why it's so defining, but what represents him doesn't represent me, this is just a part of my journey.

"I just have to create opportunities, and when they come, I'll explode then and take him on.

"If he claims to be a better boxer, so be it. When I start punching you in the jaw, you best stand up to my power.

"He'll probably start fast because he won't be able to keep up the pace. Father Time is something no one can deny, it's just part of life. I don't think he'd be able to cope in my training camp.

"Around 2005 was the good, sharp, Wladimir: throwing more punches. Now hard work has to become smart work as you get older. He's at that stage where he has to get smart now. I'm more hard work than smart work, and that's why I don't mind fighting Wladimir, because I know, whichever type of fight it is, if it gets tough, I will slug it out."

Joshua's previous career-heaviest came in 2015 against Gary Cornish, when he was 0.75lb lighter and won inside a round. Klitschko was 5.5lb heavier for his defeat by Tyson Fury in 2015, and was last as light against Ruslan Chagaev when he won via ninth-round stoppage in 2009.

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