Joshua vs Klitschko: Anthony Joshua ready to adopt ruthless approach against Wladimir Klitschko
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 17/02/17 9:37am
Anthony Joshua has ramped up the fighting talk ahead of his world heavyweight title bout with Wladimir Klitschko after claiming he will have to be "let off the leash" if he is to beat the Ukrainian at Wembley.
IBF heavyweight champion Joshua takes on Klitschko for the vacant WBA and IBO titles in a much-anticipated bout at the home of English football on April 29, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Both fighters have shown each other plenty of respect in the build-up to the fight but Joshua insists he will adopt a ruthless approach once inside the ring.
"Come the night I have to be a killer," said Joshua, at a promotional event in Germany on Thursday. "If you are not a killer in this game, you get eaten alive."
"I'm like a tamed animal - until I'm let off the leash in the ring," he added.
Klitschko is hoping to reclaim his world champion status having suffered a shock points decision defeat to Tyson Fury in 2015.
Fury afforded Klitschko little respect in the build-up to their clash and the Ukrainian has been quick to praise Joshua's altogether more courteous manner this time round.
"It is refreshingly different from the British boxers I fought before," said Klitschko, who was also forced to engage in a war of words with David Haye back in 2011.
"Anthony is proof that it is not about nationality, but personality. The respect we are showing each other for this fight is good for boxing. It is what boxing needs.
"This fight does not need the pretend bullying, It is a match-maker's dream. Look at 90,000 fans coming to Wembley. I am glad to be going to London now. The British are great people who love their sport."
Joshua will hold three of the five major heavyweight belts if he beats Klitschko in April - with Deontay Wilder (WBC) and Joseph Parker (WBO) currently in possession of the other titles.
However, the British fighter insists he has no right to view himself as the No 1 heavyweight in the world until he unifies the division.
"There will still be work to be done before I can think of making that claim," Joshua said.
"I might see myself as the universal heavyweight champion if I unify all the titles. That's not easy to do with so many mandatory defences for the different belts but that's my aim.
"I look at what Wladimir has done in the last 14 years. He can't go on another 14 years. But I can. That is my pathway to reigning as the heavyweight champion for a long time.
"Wladimir is a great champion but my legacy is beginning. I admire his experience but basically I believe this is a young man's sport."