Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko will meet at Wembley on April 29 in front of 90,000 fans, a British record crowd. But has the bout come too late for the 40-year-old? Or is it too early for Joshua?
You don’t make it as one of the best boxers in the world at the age of 40 without some mental toughness, and that’s what Wladimir Klitschko has.
The former heavyweight champion will turn 41 on Saturday and will aim to emulate the great George Foreman when he takes on Anthony Joshua in London on April 29.
Foreman became the oldest heavyweight champion when he beat Michael Moorer, 19 years his junior, in 1994.
The Ukranian is philosophical about his cancelled bout with Tyson Fury and sees the silver lining of having 17 months out from the sport.
"Without losing my last fight to Fury I wouldn't be able to make this fight with Joshua," he said. "Things happen for a reason. Now we have this huge fight -- 90,000 people are coming.
“I have fought in sold-out stadiums in front of 65,000. I've done that a few times. But 90,000? Never something that huge and I am excited about it and looking forward to it."
Joshua will not want to go down as the next Moorer, so is this fight coming at the best time for the 27-year-old?
Klitschko says himself that this is the right time for the former sparring partners to meet.
"Some say this fight is too late for me, too soon for him, but it's perfect," he said. "In three years I will be too old and he will be too good, so the timing is perfect."
Joshua sees this as a passing of the torch in boxing and wants to be the man to put the second-longest reigning heavyweight champion into retirement.
"This is why I can't wait. This is a defining fight, everything I dreamed of. He's still here. This is my time to put him out. Put him out for good. It's his decision on when to retire but I can cause a massive impact on what he decides to do."
The 2012 Olympic champion successfully defended his IBF heavyweight title against Eric Molina at the Manchester Arena with a third round knockout.
His dream is complete unification of the four heavyweight belts, after the fight at Wembley he could hold two of those; with the vacant WBA title on the line.
"This [beating Klitschko] would definitely put you on a pedestal for sure. [But] I would never claim to be the universal heavyweight champion because I've never unified the division.
"That's a status in itself, so in my opinion I need to do a bit more work before I can claim that."
American Deontay Wilder is the current WBC champion and New Zealand's Joseph Parker is the WBO holder.
If Anthony Joshua wins, does that set up a British bout with Fury? Klitschko’s conqueror has struggled mentally and has had his license to box suspended by the BBBofC.
But reports suggest Fury could return in May this year, and with David Haye’s defeat to Tony Bellew, it could be the next stop for Joshua.