Wladimir Klitschko has backed Anthony Joshua to win “hands down” against Tyson Fury if the two ever meet in the ring, Skysports reports.
But Klitschko warned Joshua not to underestimate the threat of WBC champion Deontay Wilder in their unification fight.
The former WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion retired in August with a 64-5-53KO record, following back-to-back defeats to Joshua and Fury.
Having shared the ring with both men, Klitschko is well placed to comment on who would emerge victorious if the much-discussed fight ever gets made – and the Ukrainian came down firmly on the side of Joshua.
Klitschko told The Sunday Times, “Hands down Joshua. He is getting to be the complete fighter. Technically, size-wise, weight-wise, power-wise. And he is a good learner.
“The other guy (Fury), like a fart in the wind it is there and it is gone. In the history of boxing, there are a lot of examples of this kind of guy. They can be successful for a time but are not disciplined enough to continue to be successful.
“I wish Tyson well but I think there is a lack of discipline there, and discipline is more important than motivation. Drawing from my experience I would say it is going to be very difficult for Tyson because there’s that lack of discipline.”
Fury has scheduled his first fight since defeating Klitschko over two-and-a-half years ago on June 9 at the Manchester Arena, against an unconfirmed opponent.
The ‘Gypsy King’ has made it clear he is targeting a showdown with Joshua but that does not appear likely to happen in the near future.
Joshua is holding talks for a unification fight against WBC champion Deontay.
Klitschko believes Wilder’s speed and unorthodox style could pose problems for Joshua.
“It would be a dangerous fight for Joshua,” Klitschko said. “I’m not saying he wouldn’t win it but Wilder has something. Due to his weight, he is extremely fast.
“He has good power in his hands and he’s extremely fast. Maybe he’s kind of wild in his technique but those punches are coming from who knows where.
“He is hard to defend against – where is that punch going to land or which side is it coming from? Joshua has all-around more capability but Wilder is taller than Joshua and is faster than Joshua.”
“He doesn’t have the weight behind his punches but he is extremely fast, and it would depend upon what kind of mood both fighters were in.”