Klitschko braced for tough Pole

2011-09-07 17:04

Wroclaw - World heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has said he expects a hostile crowd and a tough battle against home-favourite Tomasz Adamek in Wroclaw, Poland, on Saturday night.

The 40-year-old WBC belt-holder can expect to have few friends amongst the expected 42 000 fans at the Miejski Stadium and forecasts his "hardest fight in recent years" against challenger Adamek.

Alongside younger brother Wladimir, who holds the IBF, WBO and WBA titles, the Klitschko brothers dominate the division and Vitali says he expects to have it tough as he looks for the 43rd win and 40th knock-out of his career.

"I feel well here in the belly of the beast," said Klitschko as he prepares for his 'away match'.

As the mandatory challenger, Adamek is a former world champion in both the cruiserweight and light-heavyweight divisions.

Klitschko praised the Poles' technique and character in the ring and warned: "After my brother and I, Tomasz is currently the best heavyweight boxer".

This will be the elder Klitschko's first fight since he turned 40 in July and he admits references to his age now feel like "verbal low blows".

The tell-tale grey hairs can no longer be hidden, but the champion says he feels significantly younger as he prepares for the seventh defence of the title he won against Samuel Peter in Berlin in 2008.