Wladimir Klitschko calls for heavyweight unification, backs Anthony Joshua as No.1

Wladimir Klitschko believes the winner of Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury must face Anthony Joshua to determine the No.1 heavyweight in the world.

The pair are set to commence battle this weekend for the WBC and Ring Magazine titles at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Meanwhile, Joshua will defend his three world titles against IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in June. 'Dr. Steelhammer', who tasted back-to-back defeats to Fury and Joshua in his final two bouts in 2015 and 2017, is backing Joshua to come out as top dog.

Speaking at the Laureus World Sports Awards, Klitschko told Sky Sports: "I wish that's going to be Joshua, because I think all around, he's a superior athlete, Olympic champion, great guy for the sport and being an ambassador for the sport. I think he's got it all.

"Obviously, no-one is perfect. Always some stronger and weaker sides, but I think he has the potential to be that one and that's what I wish actually.

"How these cards are going to be mixed up and eventually we will have and will see the guy from those three. Let's just lean back, relax and observe."

Klitschko has made a similar prediction to many ahead of the heavyweight rematch between Wilder and Fury. The Ukrainian, who has teased a sensational return out of retirement, thinks the 'Gypsy King' must find an answer to the WBC titlist's power.

"Either Wilder is going to knock Fury out, or Fury is going to win on points," said Klitschko. "That's how I see it. It could go 50-50. There's no particular advantage or disadvantage to any of those guys."

Since Lennox Lewis defeated 'Iron' Mike Tyson, there hasn't been an undisputed world champion in the heavyweight division. Klitschko, 43, has admitted mandatory defences have denied fans from finding out who the best is.

"I believe there is no really No.1, for right now," he said. "I think you need to unify the titles, if that's possible, because sanctioning bodies, [there] is like a lot of controversies before it's going to happen, and that's the unfortunate part. "But eventually hopefully it's going to happen and the strongest guy is going to fight the other strong guy and then we know the champ."

Latest Boxing Videos