Boxing News

Wladimir Klitschko: Don’t call me a legend

By Przemek Garczarczyk from Moscow

WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 51 KOs) was in a good mood even after he faced what must be a record-breaking number of 300 reporters who arrived at Moscow’s “Mary Jane Bar” for the initial press conference before his October 5 mega fight. “Dr Steelhammer” complimented his next rival, Olympic champion and undefeated Russian Alexander Povetkin (26-0, 18 KOs), even comparing Povetkin’s style to Mike Tyson (“I’d compare Alexander’s style with Mike Tyson. He advances in the same way”) and agreed to talk to…

When I asked you, if you ever saw a media crowd as big as this today – with almost two months until fight date – you mentioned David Haye in England. But you must know that Alexander Povetkin will not be as scared as David was when he faced you in 2011?

It’s vital that you could be here in Moscow at this press conference. It’s important that everyone in the States knows how significant this fight is. We are talking about a global event, broadcasted to more than 150 countries, broadcasted live in the U.S. Answering your question: this fight against Alexander will be nothing, I repeat NOTHING like the one with Haye. I’m sure about that. Povetkin will not be scared or intimidated. He has a “nothing to lose, everything to gain” winner’s attitude. He’s already completed first part of his training camp and will start another right away, doing everything to be 100 percent ready for me. Expect me to be ready for whatever he brings. Fans will see an entertaining, but also a technical fight. I knew about Alexander for a long time. Years ago, when he fought on the undercard of my fight (in 2006 against Chris Byrd), after watching him, my late great trainer Emanuel Steward said, ‘Remember this man, Wladimir. He’s already a good fighter, with good instincts, with heart. One day, you will fight him.’ I forgot my coach’s words for a while, but then I did follow Povetkin’s fights. I knew what he was doing. How he was progressing and I know what his skills are today. I knew that time would come when Povetkin will be challenging me. This time is now.

My colleague from German RTL television just asked you what fighting for 17 million dollars means for you. And you answer was?

That I’m not fighting for money. Money is not what’s driving my life, my performance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a professional fighter, this is my job, but I never approach any fight from the monetary perspective. It’s not about money, it’s about giving your best every time, pushing yourself, defending the title. This is the only way to be the best – thinking about money will not make you better. Being mentally strong, working hard will.

You are already a heavyweight boxing legend…

Please don’t call me a legend, not yet…

OK, let’s agree on the living, still fighting legend description then. Is facing Alexander Povetkin here in Moscow adding something special to your legacy? Does it mean something extra?

You know that every fight is special when you are a world heavyweight champion. And every time you step into the ring, somebody wants to take away your belt, beat you. But fighting in Moscow, of course is a great fight. I will be fighting another Olympic champion, another professional world champion. Five belts at stake – four are mine, one is his. How much bigger can it go?

Your fight with Povetkin has been discussed for years, but it always ended without agreement, without an actual battle in the ring. Then things start to happen quickly.

The organizers did a great job, no doubt – a great job. Andrey Ryabinsky made it happen and there will be a huge, major international event in Moscow. Boxing fans all over the world will be able to watch the best matchup in the heavyweight division today. There’s no doubt about it.

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