Wladimir Klitschko wants Tyson Fury to beat Deontay Wilder – but backs Anthony Joshua to become undisputed champion

Wladimir Klitschko is backing former foe Tyson Fury to topple Deontay Wilder and move a step closer to unifying the heavyweight division.

The WBC heavyweight title clash takes place on February 22 in Las Vegas and fans can listen to live coverage for free, exclusively on talkSPORT.

Wladimir Klitschko wants to see Tyson Fury beat Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder
Getty Images – Getty

Fury famously beat Klitschko in Dusseldorf back in 2015 to scatter the heavyweight belts across the globe before his absence from the ring, allowing Anthony Joshua to assume control of the throne.

In an attempt to reclaim his trinkets, Klitschko travelled to Wembley stadium in 2017 and was eventually beaten by the younger man before hanging up his gloves.

Despite the initial flurry of excitement, the division has once again settled into a rut as WBC champion Wilder failed to come to terms with Joshua’s team and a titanic unification fight never came to fruition.

The giant Ukrainian knows all three heavyweight champions well having sparred Wilder, while losing to the two Brits, but admits he thinks it will be the ‘Gypsy King’ who reigns supreme in Sin City in 10 days time.

Wilder and Fury will do battle once again later this month, live on talkSPORT
Mikey Williams/Top Rank

“Either Wilder is going to knock out Fury or Fury is going to win on points,” he told The National.

“Personally, I respect Wilder a lot – he was in my training camp, we spent rounds in the ring. He’s a great guy and a fantastic boxer.

“As many knockouts as he has, you’ve probably no one else, in current times, any heavyweights, including me.

“I think, or I wish, that actually Fury, believe it or not, might make it. Maybe not, but I wish he’s going to.

“And then there’s supposed to be a rematch between Fury and me. Am I announcing now a comeback? No I’m not.”

Klitschko and Joshua delivered a heavyweight classic back in 2017
Getty Images – Getty

Turning to camera, a playful Klitschko said: “Mark my words; I’m not announcing a rematch.”

He added: “But it could possibly be a good mix when, all of a sudden, Fury is going to win and a lot of different doors are going to open and excitement and things like that.”

The winner is almost certainly going to call out WBA, WBO and IBF champion Joshua for a unification fight after the Englishman’s defeat of Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia back in December.

And, although Klitschko can foresee a unified world heavyweight champion for the first time since Lennox Lewis ruled the division with an iron first, the Ukrainian refused to rule out ‘AJ’ cleaning up.

“Styles make fights exciting or not,” he added. “Joshua is a superior athlete, great fighter, Olympic champion.

“Most importantly, he’s a great guy, who carries the torch of this image of a heavyweight champion perfectly.

“I’m proud to call him as a friend, even though we were [combatants]. And I think and I wish that eventually Joshua is going to unify all of the belts. That’s the eventual plan.

“But until then, there’s going to be some bumps on the road. So let’s just lean back and enjoy it.”

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