Klitschko fight not on Joshua's mind


Anthony Joshua has put a potential fight with Wladimir Klitschko to the back of his mind as he prepares for the second defence of his IBF heavyweight title against Eric Molina next month.

Joshua and Klitschko were due to fight on December 10, but the bout fell through after the Ukrainian veteran succumbed to injury so Molina will the chance to take the Brit's belt off him on the same date in Manchester.

Klitschko and Joshua are set to step into the ring next year if the latter retains his strap by taking his professional record to 18 wins out of 18 at the expense of American Molina.

David Price has made no secret of his desire to do battle with his compatriot Joshua, but the former Olympic champion is not looking beyond his next fight.

He said at a press conference on Friday: "Nothing has changed, I always knew I would have someone who is game and everyone is going to up their levels by 50 or 60 per cent when there is a championship belt on the table.

"I have to put Wladimir Klitschko or David Price or whoever is in pecking order to the back of mind. If I was sparring for Klitschko or Molina you have the same ambition, and that's to win."

Molina failed to claim the WBC belt off Deontay Wilder last June, but it was not until the ninth round that he was knocked out by his compatriot.

Joshua said: "It took massive courage to step in that ring with Deontay Wilder who is known as a one punch knockout artists and he stood up to a lot of his punches so that shows what he is made of.

"You can expect the usual: combinations and a good night of boxing. This is a gladiatorial sport. We put our lives on the line."

Molina warned the champion that he is in for a punishing night at the Manchester Arena.

"He's going to have the toughest fight of his career - that's a guarantee," Molina said.

"This is the heavyweight division and what makes it so exciting is that any one punch can change the fight and I bring that to the table. If you slip up you end up on your back and he's a clever guy and I think he appreciates that.

"The experience that I've got, I just don't see him running over me. In this game when you lose, everyone leaves your side, but I've had to do it the hard way and I've earned my ticket here."