Joshua vs Klitschko: A look back at the 12 undefeated fighters Wladimir Klitschko has faced
By Rob Lancaster
Last Updated: 30/04/17 12:23am
During his long and distinguished career, Wladimir Klitschko has got used to going up against undefeated foes.Anthony Joshua will be the 13th unbeaten heavyweight the Ukrainian has faced when the pair meet in a huge unification showdown at a sold-out Wembley Stadium on April 29.
Here, we take a look back at the previous dozen who went toe-to-toe with Klitschko.
Najee Shaheed (July 1998)
Klitschko took on American Saheed in the first defence of his WBC International title - and the fight didn't last long. Having won the belt by knocking out Cody Koch less than three months earlier, he triumphed inside the first round.
Poor Shaheed sadly had to get used to defeats. After going unbeaten through his first 17 fights, he finished up with a 21-12-2(KO11) record as a pro, the southpaw also losing to Henry Akinwande and Sultan Ibragimov.
Zoran Vujecic (February 1999)
Vujecic was a sacrificial lamb, offered up to Klitschko as a way to get over his shock loss to Ross Puritty.
The ring return following the setback proved to be brief, as the Ukrainian knocked out his opponent inside a round. Vujecic fought just five more times as a pro, the last outing seeing him stopped in two by Tomasz Bonin in a bout for the Polish title.
Eliseo Castillo (April 2003)
A Cuban defector who escaped to the United States with his brother, heavyweight Elieser, Castillo switched between cruiser and heavyweight during a 24-fight career that spanned 13 years.
He went into his clash with Klitschko off the back of a points triumph over former world champion Micheal Moorer, but Dr Steelhammer proved a far tougher nut to crack, with Castillo stopped in the fourth round.
Samuel Peter (September 2005)
After harrowing stoppage losses to Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster, Klitschko risked his reputation when opting to face Peter - nicknamed 'The Nigerian Nightmare' - in an eliminator for the IBF and WBO titles.
The gamble looked set to backfire when his Nigerian-born rival knocked him down twice in the fifth round. He also went down in the 10th, although managed to survive on each occasion to go the distance and win on the cards. "Hopefully, I convinced some of the critics that I have the stamina to go 12 rounds," Klitschko said afterwards.
Calvin Brock (November 2006)
Considering he held a degree in finance, it was hardly surprising when Brock cashed in on a 29-fight winning streak to take on IBF champion Klitschko at Madison Square Garden late in 2006.
The challenger put up a solid display before being stopped in the seventh round. Any hope of another crack at a major belt disappeared when Brock suffered retinal damage in losing a split decision to Eddie Chambers.
Sultan Ibragimov (February 2008)
Klitschko easily out-pointed Russian Ibragimov in a largely forgettable contest in New York.
The landslide victory on the scorecards allowed the IBF champion to pick up the WBO strap in the first unification contest in the heavyweight division since Lennox Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield in 1999.
Ruslan Chagaev (June 2009)
With David Haye ruled out through injury, Klitschko turned to Chagaev to fill the void. The latter was the WBA champion in recess, having twice pulled out of scheduled defences against Nikolay Valuev.
The White Tyson was on the wrong end of a beating in front of 61,0000 at the Veltins Arena in Germany before the one-sided bout was stopped after the ninth round.
Mariusz Wach (November 2011)
Wach did well to hear the final bell in Hamburg, although it was announced later that the German had failed a drug test. After admitting to doping, he was suspended by his home federation for 12 months.
Klitschko pummelled his opponent for 12 rounds in the first fight since the death of Emmanuel Steward, the trainer who had helped turn around his career after those devastating defeats to Sanders and Brewster.
Francesco Pianeta (May 2013)
Born in Italy, Pianeta was raised in Germany after his dad moved the family to work as a butcher. The former Muay Thai fighter diced up Oliver McCall and Frans Botha to secure a shot at Klitschko.
However, the southpaw was tendorised in Mannheim, Germany, as the WBA and IBF champion used a right-left combination to end the bout in the sixth round.
Kubrat Pulev (November 2014)
Standing as the No 1 challenger to the IBF title, Pulev thought he'd stir the pot before the fight by branding the champion heartless, while adding: "He's like a girl."
Klitschko made the Bulgarian pay for his words, dropping him early and often before winning by knockout in the fifth round. It didn't dent Pulev's confidence, though, as he branded the winner lucky in the aftermath.
Bryant Jennings (April 2015)
Klitschko returned to American soil for the first time in 10 years to face Jennings, who never threatened an upset but at least made his opponent work for the full 12 rounds.
The Philadelphia native lost by unanimous decision, although he gained a boost to his reputation. However, handed a chance to fight Luis Ortiz for the interim WBA title next, he was stopped in the seventh round.
Tyson Fury (November 2015)
Through actions and words, Fury found a way to get under Klitschko's skin. The British boxer bothered his rival from the moment he turned up to a press conference dressed as Batman.
Fury bamboozled the Ukrainian with a sharp jab and clever head movement, cutting him beneath the left eye on his way to a unanimous points triumph in Dusseldorf, Germany.