Heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko has revealed that he is excited to be back at Madison Square Garden for his title defence against Bryant Jennings.
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It has been seven years since Klitschko last fought Stateside, but in that time he has extended his reign at the top of the division with 13 consecutive title defences to move to 63-3, with 53 KOs in his career.
However, he faces a tough test this Saturday as he takes on an unbeaten American in Jennings who boasts a 19-0 record and will be desperate to become the man to finally end his rival’s stay as the king of the heavyweight division.
While the Ukrainian will undoubtedly be fully focused on defending his belts, he also admits that he is thrilled about fighting in New York again and will relish the experience.
“I’m enjoying every second and every moment because I know how priceless it is. When you don’t have it, you’re going to miss it. I’m really happy to be back at the Garden and back at HBO. Absolutely,” he told ESPN.
The 39-year-old insists that he isn’t underestimating his opponent and will take Jennings seriously despite his lack of real top level experience, and a win this weekend would then pave the way for possible clashes with Tyson Fury or a unification bout with WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
Klitschko is set to match Joe Louis’ record with his 27th heavyweight title fight while he would also move within one of Larry Holmes’ 19 consecutive title defences if he wins.
However, he doesn’t like to compare himself with those greats of the sport and insists that he continues to do what he does out of love for boxing. Regardless of the criticism he has faced over the years from his detractors for being boring, Klitschko has remained professional and done every job asked of him in order to stay at the top and that in itself deserves plenty of respect.