Friday 23 August 2019

Joshua laughs off Klitschko 'little bro' jibes as mind games

Anthony Joshua. Photo: Reuters
Anthony Joshua. Photo: Reuters

Independent.ie newsdesk

Anthony Joshua yesterday dismissed being called "Little Bro" by Wladimir Klitschko as "calculated" and cited Cristiano Ronaldo as the sportsman whose legacy he would like to emulate.

"I think Klitschko is calculated. He's called me 'Little Bro' from the day we were on Ringside, on Sky Sports, when we were probably never going to fight. Now he says it and we're fighting, but I let it go over my head," said Joshua, the IBF world champion.

"Klitschko is the first champion that I've fought. It is no problem. You could let 'Little Bro' get to you, but I don't let it.

"If I was talking like I'm the master, I'd be believing my own hype. I'm fine with all that stuff. He can call me 'Little Bro' and all these things until the cows come home, and then I'll spank him out in a round - it's irrelevant."

Joshua added: "I want longevity as a champion. I like Cristiano Ronaldo because of how long he has been around at the top level. You can't do it once, you have to do it more."

Klitschko, the fallen king of the heavyweight division, will be 41 when he walks from his Wembley dressing-room to meet an opponent he always saw as a protégé.

Joshua (27) is a fellow Olympic gold medallist who boosted his education in Klitschko's camp, sparring 20 rounds with the Ukrainian.

Then Joshua was an eager acolyte. Now he is the favourite to consign his former teacher to the shadows following his shock defeat to Tyson Fury in Dusseldorf 13 months ago. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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