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27th Apr 2017

Wladimir Klitschko rubbishes eye injury rumour and explains point of memory stick

Playing those mind games

Darragh Murphy

Wladimir Klitschko is not one to engage in trash talk all that often but that’s not to say that he won’t indulge in a subtle mind game or two.

Once revered as the most dominant force in boxing’s heavyweight division, Klitschko will have to prove that there’s some fight left in the old dog yet as he aims to yank the brakes on a hype train of unparalleled momentum in the form of Anthony Joshua.

One of the most intriguing fights in recent heavyweight history takes place on Saturday night as Wembley Stadium hosts Joshua vs. Klitschko, with the IBF, vacant WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight titles on the line.

Respect has dominated the build-up to the in-ring collision of past and future but Klitschko has tried, on occasion, to get under the skin of the humble ‘AJ’.

Earlier in the month, he referred to Joshua as “a wannabe billionaire” in an out-of-character swipe at his upcoming opponent. But Joshua didn’t bite.

And with just days to go until nothing but a referee separates the fighters, we saw more attempted mind games from the Ukrainian.

During Thursday’s press conference, Klitschko reached into his pocket and pulled out a memory stick, where his confident prediction for this weekend’s clash is stored.

The 41-year-old intends to auction off the robe he will wear to the ring, which will come with his pre-fight prediction included, and the proceeds will go to his charity.

“On this stick, I recorded a video last week and I gave my prediction,” Klitschko explained. “This stick is going to be integrated into my robe.

“Do not ask me, after that fight, what is on the stick. The only person who is going to be able to open it up and watch it is the person who buys this robe, with all the money going to the Klitschko Foundation.”

Rumours of an eye injury to Klitschko have circulated in recent days but he gave short shrift to any talk of the fight being in jeopardy by pulling a line right out of Donald Trump’s arsenal.

“Fake news!” Klitschko assured.

There’s not long to go now!