WBA/WBO/IBF heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko, has weighed in [245.3 lbs] ahead of tomorrow night’s title defence against British challenger, Tyson Fury [246.4 lbs], insisting that not only is he in fantastic physical shape as always, mentally is where his real strength continues to lie.
The dominant Ukrainian is facing questions from some quarters as to how long he can continue at the very top level, especially now that he is pushing 40 years old and – for some – showed small signs of decline in April’s clash with American, Bryant Jennings.
Yet the champion – courteous and a model professional as always in the build-up – has said that behind his calm exterior lies a huge ego, that along with an iron-clad self-belief, is one of the driving factors behind his long success.
“If I’m 100% focused, then the only person who can beat me is myself,” Klitschko said via Sky Sports, who will show the fight in the UK on their ‘Box Office’ platform.
“This probably sounds selfish, but I have a very big ego,” he continued. “It’s not about somebody else – it is about my own satisfaction and my own ego that needs to be satisfied.
“I would have to allow someone to beat me, but I won’t allow that because my ego is my protection. I can only lose to myself.”
After going 11 1/2 years undefeated, and 9 1/2 years in his current tenure as a world champion, there are many who would be inclined to agree with him, although Klitschko says he intends to carry on a while yet, as his desire, motivation, and cruicially – ego – are all still strong.
“My ego is big and it gives me the motivation. My ego says I have been champion for a long time,” he added. “I think that’s the core of any successful person – ego.”
Klitschko / Fury is on HBO (US) / Sky Box Office (UK)