Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko believes up-and-coming heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua is going to be a forced to be reckoned with sooner than later.
Wladimir Klitschko predicts Anthony Joshua will soon dominate the heavyweight division.
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Klitschko told ESPN's Dan Rafael on Nov. 5 he sees Joshua becoming world heavyweight champion if he continues to do what he is doing:
"Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko knows a thing or two about boxing. After all, he has been champion for more than eight years and has made 16 defenses against all comers.
"So when he believes that England's Anthony Joshua, the 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist, is the potential future of the division, it's worth taking note.
"'If he is going to keep doing what he is doing, he will be champion for sure,' Klitschko said of Joshua in an interview Wednesday with ESPN.com from the champ's training camp in the mountains of Austria.
"Klitschko (62-3, 53 KOs) is preparing for title defense No. 17 against Kubrat Pulev (20-0, 11 KOs) on Nov. 15 at the O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany. The fight was originally scheduled for Sept. 6 but was postponed because Klitschko suffered a torn left biceps. But when he was training for the initial September date, the 25-year-old Joshua (9-0, 9 KOs) spent 10 days in camp with Klitschko and Klitschko came away very impressed with the powerful 6-foot-6, 235-pounder.
"'I think he has amazing potential. He needs to learn, but that will come. I think he has the size and the weight. He's built like a modern professional warrior and athlete. He has good technique and good amateur background, which is important,' said Klitschko, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist.
"'He is an Olympic champion, but he doesn't carry himself as Olympic champion like, 'I'm so cool.' He is very humble. He learns. He asks a lot of questions and he is very open-minded and wants to learn. I enjoyed having him in camp.'
"Klitschko said they sparred about 15 rounds together.
"'He did very, very good,' Klitschko said.
"Joshua admires what Klitschko has been able to accomplish and hopes to match what he has done.
"'I feel I belonged there, but Wladimir is different to everyone else,' Joshua said. 'He has been the champ for [eight] years. He's in a league of his own. For me to be where Wladimir Klitschko is, there's a lot of work to be done.
"'I feel I am talented enough to become the world champion, but to stay there for as long as he has, keep defending the titles and stay hungry for it, that's what I need to learn.'
"Joshua is due back in action against Michael Sprott (42-22, 17 KOs) on Nov. 22 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, on the Nathan Cleverly-Tony Bellew II undercard."
Klitschko is not only gearing up for the Nov. 15 title defense against Pulev, he is also going to be a father. His fiancee, actress Hayden Panettiere, told Cover Media (via Yahoo News Phillippines) on Nov. 5 that their baby girl will be just like her father:
"Hayden Panettiere has a 'feeling' her baby will be a 'clone' of her father.
"The Heroes star and her boxing champ fiancee Wladimir Klitschko are currently expecting a little girl. And the actress doesn't think she will have much in common with her mother.
"'She will definitely be a clone of her father,' the 25-year-old smiled to German magazine TV Movie.
"'I'm just the incubator!'
"Hayden usually supports her beau when he has a big fight. But because she is so far along, she won't be there for his next match in Hamburg, Germany, on November 15.
"'I can't fly such long distances anymore,' she said.
"And while he's taking it easy for now, Hayden doesn't expect to take too long to get back to work. Currently, she plays Juliette Barnes in musical country drama Nashville.
"'I'm due at the beginning of December. If all goes to plan, I'll start shooting again in February,' she smiled."
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