Tables didn’t fly, insults were not traded, Batman was absent, there was no Fan Man and there were no threats to as-yet unborn babies in Germany today when IBF heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) went face-to-face with former world Champion Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) to promote their April 29 showdown, which will be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office here in the U.K.
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Due to the fragmentation of the belts following Tyson Fury’s annus horribilis in 2016 the WBA World and IBO titles will also be on the line for this one. The fight takes place at Wembley Stadium with 90,000 tickets already sold. Joshua, though, believes that the fight will serve as a springboard for him to capture the imagination of Germany-based fight fans.
“I may be an unfamiliar face in Germany but after April 29 I think I will become a big name over here too,” he said when addressing the assembled press. “Wladimir is an elite athlete—I don’t think I’ll crumble, I think I’ll rise to the occasion at Wembley. I used to shy away from the crowd, but I’ve learnt to use the energy from the crowd—90,000 fans is only going to be a positive.”
“This fight is impacting so many markets,” added Eddie Hearn, who co-promotes alongside Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions “It is proving to be the biggest heavyweight fight since [Lennox] Lewis–[Mike] Tyson, and it’s a must-watch.”
“The respect is the calm before the storm—fists will fly in the ring,” declared Klitschko, who dropped a decision to Tyson Fury in November 2015. “Friends afterwards yes, but this is serous business.”