Britain's Anthony Joshua insists Wladimir Klitschko is too old to be a heavyweight force as the duo prepare for their world title bout in front of a sold-out Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Joshua is 14 years younger than 41-year-old Klitschko, who suffered his first defeat in more than a decade when he lost on points to Tyson Fury in Dusseldorf in November 2015.
The pair will do battle for Joshua’s IBF title, while the vacant WBA Super and IBO belts will also be on the line. Joshua, 27, who has won 18 bouts since turning professional in 2013, believes Klitschko’s best days are entrenched in the past.
“He has to pass the baton,” said Joshua. “I do hear it a lot, he’s too old, he’s faded. But then I try and flip it. Even if he’s too old, which I think he is, he’s in a good place mentally and that’s a dangerous fighter.
“Timing is everything and maybe Father Time has caught up with the former champ.”
Ukraine’s Klitschko will make his record-breaking 28th world title fight before a 90,000 attendance and is adamant he is relishing his new-found status as the underdog.
“Can you believe this? I’m actually the underdog,” said Klitschko. “I can actually talk to myself sometimes and say ‘Wlad, you’re an underdog. It’s great, it’s beyond motivation and I just only can win, I can’t lose’.”