Berlin - Heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko is targetting his 50th career knockout when he takes on outsider Jean-Marc Mormeck in Duesseldorf on Saturday.
Ukrainian Klitschko, whose older brother Vitali beat Briton Dereck Chisora on points earlier this month to retain his WBC crown, holds the IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA versions of the title.
“I am ready for this challenge,” Wladimir told a news conference in Duesseldorf on Monday. “I still have the hunger and I do not take this fight lightly.
“When you see how he talks, looks and moves then that shows he has the will and determination to become the first world heavyweight champion from France.”
The 35-year-old warned the Frenchman, nicknamed “Mini Tyson” because of his build, would be no pushover even though he was 17 centimetres shorter at 1.81 metres than the Ukrainian.
“It is extremely difficult to box against a man who is a lot shorter,” said Wladimir. “It does not make my job easier.”
Vladimir, standing 1.98 metres tall, has notched 49 knockouts in his 59 professional fights, and has lost three.
The fight had to be rescheduled from its original Dec 10 2011 date after Vladimir pulled out to undergo surgery to remove a kidney stone.
Mormeck, the 38-year-old former cruiserweight world champion, said he did not fear the Ukrainian, who will have a much wider reach due to his height.
“I have an iron will and am tough. I fear no one and that is my mental strength,” he said. “Does he have that as well?”
Compared to brother Vitali's controversial bout against Chisora, which featured Chisora slapping the WBC champion during the weigh-in and exchanging punches with British boxer David Haye in a post-fight press conference, preparations for this bout have so far been peaceful.
“But it is still Monday and a Vitali's press conference also was peaceful. Let's see what happens at the weigh-in,” Wladimir said.