Wladimir Klitschko plans to box on for another decade to break Joe Louis's record as the longest reigning heavyweight champion.
The 38-year-old Klitschko, who has held “world” titles since 2006, will defend his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts against Australian challenger Alex Leapai in Oberhausen, Germany, on Saturday.
Leapai, 34, has a professional record of 30-4-3. He turned professional in 2004. Klitschko’s record stands at 61-3, including 51 knockouts. His last defeat was a decade ago.
The Ukrainian, who lives in Germany, has no plans to retire. He says he wants to break the legendary Louis' record of 12 years as a world heavyweight champion. The American was unbeaten between 1937 and 1949.
Klitschko will have to fight for four more years to break that record. He will then be 42 years old.
"I just turned 38, but that's only a number," Klitschko told a German newspaper, Die Welt. "I am still extremely hungry and better than ever. A few years ago, I thought I couldn't improve, but my mission is still a long way from over. I want to box on for ten more years.
"I feel the combination of experience, athletic ability, technique and strategy makes me the complete professional."
Klitschko finds it challenging to prepare for his 65th professional fight while his brother Vitali is in the thick of their country's volatile political situation.
"It's a bizarre situation," said Wladimir. "My body has been training at the camp in Austria, but my mind is often with my brother and our compatriots in Ukraine."