Wladimir Klitschko admits he is enjoying being labelled the underdog when he takes on Anthony Joshua.
The former unified heavyweight world champion takes on the British star at a sold-out Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Klitschko will be making his record-breaking 28th world title fight, compared to Joshua’s 19th professional outing, with his old belts, the WBA ‘Super’ and IBF on the line, but is still the underdog.
The 41-year-old has made his obsession public knowledge and insists will all drive him on to upset the odds and win back his old belts.
“Can you believe this? I’m actually an underdog,” he told Sky Sports.
“I actually talk to myself sometimes and I say “Wlad, you’re an underdog. It’s great, it’s beyond motivation and I just only can win, I can’t lose, I only can win.
“Originally this phrase, I’ve heard from JF Kennedy, when the first human team went to the moon and he said this one line – failure is not an option – so you’re going to get to the moon and you’re going to come back, which happened.
“So failure was not an option and in a certain way I adjusted it to my mentality and to my team slogan, that ‘failure is not an option’.
“It’s really something that you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. There is no other option – you have to do it.”
Klitschko will be returning to the ring after 17 months out following his own surprising unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Tyson Fury.
It was ‘Dr Steelhammer’s fourth professional loss in 68 bouts, but the first time in 11 years and 13 fights he’d been beaten with a title on the line. The Fury rematch fell through, eventually setting up the Wembley event against Joshua.
Klitschko insists he will be a different beast when he walks out in front of 90,000 fans.
“Sometimes with a lot of years of success you’re getting used to certain things in you and you’re getting maybe a little numb. It’s great that I had a little failure and failure is the key to success,” he said.
“I had failure recently, I lost my titles and in a certain way it’s good because there is a lot of excitement and motivation for me.
“There is a saying ‘if you want to destroy a person give him a certain time of success’.
“Some people need three years; some people need five years, some people need 10, 20, but eventually the longer you have it you’ll get destroyed.
“Fury needed probably a couple of months, it was really sad to observe the way that things went down for him after what he achieved. I cannot take it away because he did it.
“But as I said, different people need different times and even if I absolutely knew what I was doing and certain things are getting numbed, you’re going from one fight to the other, from one year to the other.”