Wladimir Klitschko has warned that he has been “upgraded” ahead of his forthcoming world heavyweight title fight with Anthony Joshua at Wembley.
The 41-year-old has not entered a competitive ring since losing his belts to Tyson Fury in November 2015 but is keen to prove that he will be able to compete with his young and unbeaten opponent.
Klitschko will be the second-oldest man to win the world heavyweight championship if he is victorious at Wembley, behind only the 45-year-old George Foreman’s 1994 victory over Michael Moorer.
“There's so many things, even at this stage of my career, that is being upgraded. So, it's getting better and more exciting," Klitschko told Sky Sports during a training session at his camp in Austria.
“I am happy about it and I am very fortunate,” he added. “I've been working for it for a long time and things happen for a reason.
“I am happy about having AJ as my opponent because AJ needs me and I need AJ to make this event happen.”
Both Joshua’s IBF title and the vacant WBA ‘super’ title will be contested on a night which is likely to be Klitschko’s swansong, but the former two-time world champion is solely focussed on reclaiming the belts rather than retirement.
“It's simple as this, I just want to win my next fight and to show to myself that I can do it. I know that I can do it,” he said.
“I have been doing it for such a long, long time, so the end of the fight is going to be - and I'm focused on this - positive for me where I am going to raise my hands and hold the titles.
“That's my passion, that's my obsession and I want to show to myself that I've still got it.”