Wladimir Klitschko has warned Tyson Fury there is nothing he can do to unsettle him ahead of their October 29 rematch because he has already seen everything heavyweight boxing can offer.
It was confirmed earlier on Monday that their fight at the Manchester Arena will take place despite the expectation Fury’s hearing with the independent National Anti-Doping Panel will be scheduled for a date in November.
The WBA and WBO heavyweight champion’s absence from their press conference was explained by claims his car had broken down.
A sceptical-sounding Klitschko then explained it was nothing he had not previously experienced, and spoke of his belief his near year-long rest between fights will have rejuvenated him come October 29.
“It really doesn’t matter,” said the 40-year-old, whose 11-month period of inactivity represents his longest since he turned professional in 1996.
“If he showed up, great. If he didn’t, so what? I’ve had this in the past with (Alexander) Povetkin when we were supposed to fight and also with (David) Haye. It’s nothing new.
“I’m not surprised any more because in the the past there have been so many ridiculous moves from the Fury camp.
“It can go in any direction but I’m highly motivated and it didn’t take any air out of me. I know what kind of people we’re dealing with.
“There’s nothing that is going to make me less focused or train less. I know this fight is going to happen and I know I’m going to win.
“When the fight was postponed (from July), I was in camp in Austria. In a way it was deja vu because I had it with Haye.
“I do feel better (for the rest). I felt good the entire time, but even if now I’m starting another camp and preparing for Fury, I have a different look, I’m a totally different person. I definitely feel better about it.
“I had my fun time, my family time, so I’m well-balanced in this way.”
Klitschko suffered defeat for the first time in 11 years when Fury unexpectedly outpointed him last November.
His disappointing performance followed another, against Bryant Jennings when he won but far from excelled. He insisted, however, that defeat never caused him to contemplate retirement, even if he struggled to accept it actually happened.
“There was never a thought about retiring,” he said. “I was suffering with thoughts like ‘Wait a second, that must be a dream’. I actually woke up and was like ‘This is not for real’, because that’s not what I get used to.
“It took me two days to shake it off. By Tuesday, I said ‘I’m going to execute the option in our contract, for a rematch’. By Wednesday we announced it. The first days, I just needed to understand what happened.”
The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) is to oversee October’s rematch. Klitschko’s manager Bernd Bonte, incidentally, claimed Fury had been reluctant to agree to random testing before Tuesday.
“We said (it should start) as soon as possible,” he insisted. “They said when we did our agreement, ‘Not before September 10’.
“They just through their lawyer said ‘September 10’; we didn’t ask for a reason. Hopefully they have sent back their paperwork, because only when that is signed off then the random testing can start.”
Press Association Sport