Former WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko will be taking on undefeated boxer Anthony Joshua at the end of this month at Wembley stadium after being out of the sport for more than a year. Klitschko last fought in November 2015 when he faced off against Tyson Fury but suffered a shock defeat in that bout.
The Ukrainian is set to face off against Joshua for his IBF heavyweight title and this will be the 69th professional bout of his career which began in 1996. He is currently training in the Austrian Alps in preparation for this fight, and with this being the longest break he has taken since he started boxing, he admitted that he could have gotten rusty.
"This is the longest break I have had in 27 years since I started boxing as an amateur. I never had a pass for a year-and-half before. Is this bad or good? Have I got rusty? I just don't know. I feel good, but we will see. I have had a marked improvement since I lost to Fury. But I have to answer this for myself at Wembley when I am up against a young, strong guy," The Standard quoted Klitschko as saying.
"It's obvious that both fighters are on the same level. This one is 50-50. Can the young guy make it? Has the old guy still got it? We will find out. This is a great match for the sport of boxing. This is such a big fight with such a big meaning."
"Normally when you lose, you have to get to the back of the line for another title fight. But I have got this great challenge against AJ because my re-match against Fury didn't happen. It isn't logical. But it's a great opportunity."
The last time Klitschko lost a fight was back in 2004 when he lost to Lamon Brewster but he returned within six months and defeated DaVarryl Williamson. Since then he has gone on a 22 fight win streak which landed him the IBF, WBO and WBA "Super" versions of the heavyweight title, but lost all those titles when Fury defeated him.
Despite Klitschko saying that he could be rusty after being out of the sport for more than a year, his partner Hayden Panettiere was "pretty confident" that he will defeat Joshua when the two face off on April 29.