Klitschko is the step up people have wanted - Joshua

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Anthony Joshua believes his 2017 fight with Wladimir Klitschko represents the next-level contest boxing fans have been crying out for.

Joshua defended his IBF world heavyweight belt with ease in Manchester on Saturday, stopping Eric Molina inside three rounds to take his professional record to 18-0, all by knockout.

It was a straightforward win for Joshua against a negative opponent, but a sterner test awaits following Eddie Hearn's announcement in the ring immediately afterwards that the champion will take on Klitschko at Wembley on April 29.

Former lineal champion Klitschko, who will be 41 when the fight comes around, saw several attempts at a rematch with Tyson Fury - who deposed him as the division's ruler in 2015 - collapse this year.

"This is the step up people have wanted," said Joshua. "Klitschko wants his belts back - may the best man win."

"AJ did his job. I'm happy he won, that was my wish. There is no other fight to do but this one between us," Klitschko added.

"I was watching, observing, making my notes. I'm really looking forward to this fight. I am a fan of his talent, he can unify the division and be a great champion.

"My guns are cocked. They've been cocked for a year. Nothing personal, but it's business.

"My hall of fame coach Emmanuel Stewart said 'one day you will have a signature fight'. This is the fight he was talking about. It is something outstanding."

On the win over Molina, Joshua explained it was business as usual following a second successful defence of his crown.

"It was slow, patient and calculating. You are dealing with someone who is not giving you many options, so I had to create them and I once I saw it I managed to connect properly and knocked him out," he said.

"He had maybe two shots, but he is not a Kiltschko, he is not a [David] Haye, he is not all of these other fighters.

"That's why I don't get too hyped, that's why I took him out like I should. I am going to keep on handling business like I should.

"The belt doesn't represent me, it's how you deal with people, how you represent yourself as a champion. The belt is a sign of a champion but what makes a champion is the things I have just said."