Klitschko targets 50th KO
Wladimir Klitschko (File)
Berlin - Wladimir Klitschko plans on making Jean-Marc Mormeck the 50th knock-out of his career on Saturday, while the Frenchman says he is determined to become his country's first world heavyweight champion.
World champion Klitschko will defend his IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA titles against Mormeck, who stepped up from cruiserweight just over two years ago, in Dusseldorf.
The pair were scheduled to meet last December, but kidney stones forced Klitschko, 35, to postpone the fight which will be the 60th of his career.
"I'm ready for this challenge," said Klitschko at Monday's press conference.
"I still have the hunger and assume the task will not be easy."
Klitschko has not been beaten since April 2004 when he suffered a fifth round technical knock-out to Lamon Brewster in Las Vegas and Mormeck wants to break the Ukrainian's winning streak and take his titles.
"I have an iron will and I am tough," said the 39-year-old, who insists he fears no one.
"I have the mental strength too. Does he?"
This will be Mormeck's fourth heavyweight bout and Klitschko has said it will be tough against a man who is considerably shorter than he is with the challenger measuring 181 cms, compared to Klitschko's height of 198 cms.
Klitschko's brother Vitali defended his WBC heavyweight title against Britain's Dereck Chisora a fortnight ago in Munich, but the sport's image was tarnished by the post-fight brawl between Chisora and ex-champion David Haye.
Wladimir says he expects things to stay peaceful, but is taking nothing for granted.
"We are only on Monday, things also started peacefully in the press conference between Vitali and Chisora," said the younger Klitschko.
"I am looking forward to the open training and the weigh-in."
Despite his threats to dethrone the champ, all bar three of Mormeck's 40 fights have been at the lighter weight and he suffered a technical knock-out to Haye at cruiserweight in 2007.
The Frenchman has still enjoyed 22 knock-outs in 36 victories, but has suffered four defeats in his career.
"Wladimir is a great boxer in every way, but I've been preparing for years for this moment," said Mormeck, who turns 40 in June.
For gorgeous gifts at gorgeous prices, click here for the ultimate Christmas gift guide from Clicks.