Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko: Trainer Johnathon Banks says challenger's legacy is damaged

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Joshua & Klitschko face off before heavyweight boxing showdown

Wladimir Klitschko's reputation was unfairly damaged by his defeat against Tyson Fury, according to the former heavyweight champion's trainer.

Klitschko faces IBF champion Anthony Joshua on Saturday, with the WBA title also on the line in his first bout since losing to Fury in November 2015.

Trainer Johnathon Banks said: "It's sad. I believe that to the public that loss damaged what he accomplished."

At Friday's weigh-in, Joshua said there is "legacy on the line".

"I'm ready to go as far as I need to go to get the win," Joshua told BBC Radio 5 live. "I don't hate Klitschko, I don't dislike him but I want to beat him."

'An epic performance'

Joshua weighed in at 17st 12lbs, some 10lbs heavier than Klitschko.

The Ukrainian, 41, was 5lbs lighter than when he faced Fury, perhaps an attempt to aid his speed against an opponent 14 years his junior.

The defeat by Fury was a first loss in 11 years for Klitschko, taking his record to 64 wins and four defeats, but he enters the meeting with Joshua as a clear underdog against a man with a perfect 18-fight record.

Should Klitschko win, he would become one of the oldest heavyweight champions, a record held by George Foreman, who lifted the IBF and WBA crowns in 1994, aged 45.

Banks told BBC Radio 5 live: "They say he won all those fights because the guys were shorter. One false statement. They say he won them all because the style was too boring for the opponent, another false statement.

"Longevity must step up somewhere and you have to appreciate it.

"A lot of people said he got old over night, you don't get old overnight. Will this happen again the next fight? No. I'm looking at him putting on an epic performance."

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