Rio 2016: Anthony Joshua plays down Wladimir Klitschko praise

Olympic super-heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has sought to play down the recent praise from Wladimir Klitschko – stating an eagerness to build on his potential.

Klitschko has been sparring with the Briton and described Joshua as the most promising boxer he had seen in 25 years.

But Joshua, who will take on Gary Cornish and Dillian Whyte for the Commonwealth and British titles over the next few months, played down the comments.

“That’s why I don’t tend to talk about it much or retweet it or put it everywhere because it is only potential,” explained the 25-year-old.

“As he said, I’m the best prospect – he’s not saying I’m the best heavyweight champion of the world he’s seen in 25 years, that’s what I need to go on to achieve so what he is saying is that I have potential and that I am a prospect.

“I just can’t really get too carried away with those words because I still have to go on and achieve why he has said that.

“That is what I’m focused on – living up to my potential, living up to being a prospect and becoming Commonwealth, British, European heavyweight champion of the world.”

Klitschko faces Tyson Fury in October – the outspoken Brit boasting an unbeaten record from 24 professional contests, including 18 knockouts.

With Joshua having practiced with Klitschko of late, the Olympic champion added his hopes of helping out for the bout in two months’ time.

“Yeah that would be good – I don’t see why not,” Joshua added.

“I don’t think I box like Fury but I think as you said, throughout the height and the straight shots, the jabs, the one two’s and the movement that Fury brings, switch hitting, I think he’ll call me into camp for sure.

“But if not he’ll still do well, with or without myself so yeah it would be great to be at that camp once again but no stress if I don’t.

“I see Klitschko winning, Klitschko is a level above. Tyson is a very very good fighter but I just personally rate Klitschko and I think he’ll do the business.”