Joshua has revealed that Klitschko has been in minimal contact ahead of the fight, revealing that he will remain neutral in his support with Usyk from his native Ukraine
Anthony Joshua has detailed a message of good luck from Wladimir Klitschko ahead of his fight with Oleksandr Usyk.
The unified heavyweight champion makes his latest title defence at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium tomorrow night.
He will face the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk, who is deemed to be a very tricky opponent.
And the 31-year-old has revealed that Klitschko sent him a brief message ahead of the showdown, and plans to remain “neutral”.
“He hasn’t been in touch so far this fight though, he just messaged me and said look I will remain neutral,” Joshua said. “He said I am rooting for you both, good luck and I will remain impartial.
“So I replied saying I respect that totally and we will catch up after.”
But for now he must face one of his toughest challenges yet, although he will be backed by a capacity crowd in London.
And he has shown off a lean physique ahead of the clash, after previously revealing he would trim down to meet the demands of Usyk’s skillset.
Doing so has proven the size of his task tomorrow night, and he has labelled Usyk a “warrior” despite making a knockout prediction.
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“My plan is knockout,” Joshua told Boxing Social. “I like Emmanuel Steward’s idea of covering your A’s B’s and C’s which leads you to your KO.
“You guys know we are here for a great fight Saturday. I hope you guys are happy with the opponent choice, because boxing needs it.
“We’ve got other competitions in the entertainment business and boxing is a great sport that has great potential, but without great fights and great matchups, it will never be able to reach its potential.
“You look at [Evander] Holyfield when he turned into the heavyweight division, 25 years old fought six heavyweights. Usyk’s a bit older, so he wants to get involved in the heavyweight division a bit earlier.
“He hasn’t got that same amount of time, and well done to him for taking on the challenge. People talk about my resume, but he’s obviously a good fighter and warrior as well.”
Joshua could potentially have one eye on his future clash with Fury, and is “positive” that a future undisputed clash will happen if the pair come through their tests.
But despite missing out on a sizeable super-fight, the Briton believes that the sport “needs” his defence against Usyk.
He said: “You guys know we are here for a great fight Saturday. I hope you guys are happy with the opponent choice because boxing needs it.
“We’ve got other competitions in the entertainment business and boxing is a great sport that has great potential, but without great fights and great matchups, it will never be able to reach its potential.”
Joshua has reiterated that he would be the ‘A side’ in any contest with Fury, but is not willing to let it delay their fight further.