Wladimir Klitschko:’ This may sound egotistical, but I am like Mount Everest’
The 41 -year-olds training camp in the Alps looks like the determine for a repugnance movie and he tells Sachin Nakrani he is in the mood to give Anthony Joshua a scare when they meet on 29 April at Wembley
Stanglwirt is a sprawling bio-hotel located in the Austrian Alps and which at first glance looks like the settle for a slow-burning, creepy horror movie. With its rocky background and somewhat kitsch interior heavy lumber panelling, stripy sofas it brings about storages of the Overlook Hotel from Stephen Kings The Shining. Walk through the foyer, past the staff garmented in lederhosen, and it is like merely a matter of time until a clock goes off, a cuckoo springs out and a form falls down the stairs.
But on this spring visit there is no horror to be had. Instead, amid the restaurants sector and forbids, the spas, saunas and swimming pool, resides a legend of saving. Or, as Wladimir Klitschko places it, fulfilling an obsession.
The heavyweight is here to prepare for his bout with Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium on 29 April. Stanglwirt has been his pre-fight base since 2003 and a neighbourhood he describes as a residence away from residence. It is easy to see the appeal for all its Heres Johnny! characters, the complex , now more than 250 years old, is a beautiful region to waste some time. Pristine, picturesque, heated, friendly and with slew to do and exhaust. For Klitschko it is somewhere to get his memory and mas right, which now now more than ever is important for a boxing great who, as he declares, is about to take over a career-defining challenge.
Klitschko has not fought since his shock defeat to Tyson Fury in Dsseldorf 17 months ago. It was an outcome that is not simply deprived the Ukrainian of his WBA, IBF and WBO titles but too of his cape of near-invincibility. Dr Steelhammer, a fighter who had fastened 53 of his 64 wins across a 27 -year career by knockout, was outgunned by a man who dressed as Batman for one of their pre-fight press conferences. Fury was a pun, hitherto after a unanimous places decision on 28 November 2015 he was the one laughing.
Much happens to Fury since that night and one of the consequences has been Klitschko missing out on a rematch that would have provisioned him with a chance to prove he is no busted blush after a fourth demolish since becoming professional in 1996. Unfinished business, as he employs it. Now, eventually, comes the chance for him to go again against a British fighter.