icon Updated at 02:49 AM EST, Thu Dec 8, 2016

Anthony Joshua: I Put Away Molina, I'll Fulfill My Destiny in 2017

Anthony Joshua says he's not getting distracted by a scheduled meeting with Wladimir Klitschko next year.

The IBF heavyweight champion has told Newsbeat he's "mentally strong enough" to focus on his fight with American Eric Molina first. The pair meet in Manchester on Saturday. But Joshua had been close to agreeing a bout with Klitschko on that date, before the Ukrainian picked up a "minor injury".

If Joshua wins Saturday's fight it will pave the way for him to face Klitschko for the WBA, IBO and IBF titles in a unification bout.

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The 40-year-old, who has 64 career wins, lost the WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF titles to British heavyweight Tyson Fury in November 2015.

"I think mentally I am strong enough in order to put it behind me and focus on Eric Molina," Joshua tells Newsbeat.

"It's a great opportunity but it's not reality yet. Klitschko is in the background and I can only deal with what's in front of me.

"I think they've put this hurdle in the way and I might have to overcome some situations, but providing I do so I think I will be able to fulfill my destiny in 2017."

Joshua, who is unbeaten in 17 fights, meets Eric Molina at the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena.

"We haven't been up north for a while, up north is a good crowd so I thought lets go to Manchester," says Joshua.

The 27-year-old defended his IBF heavyweight title for the first time with a knockout of Dominic Breazeale in London in June.

He's been telling us about the importance of mixing up his walk-on music too.

"It's just what's relevant, so if I'm in Scotland then it would be 500 Miles [by The Proclaimers] but it also has to be relevant to the opponent.

"So in Manchester it could be Oasis. Something that has a connection with myself and the crowd."

In the past, Stormzy has performed a live walk-on track for Joshua.

"He performed Shut Up and Dillian Whyte [the opponent] had to shut up because I won so it worked out really well."