IBF/WBA/WBО/IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine said at a news conference in Dusseldorf on Monday that "he is ready for this challenge", meaning the upcoming bout vs France's Jean-Marc Mormeck on March 3.
"I still have the hunger and I do not take this fight lightly", Wladimir added.
"When you see how he talks, looks and moves then that shows he has the will and determination to become the first world heavyweight champion from France," the Ukrainian boxer said. However, the 35-year-old Klitschko added that "it is extremely difficult to box against a man who is a lot shorter. It does not make my job easier".
Wladimir, standing 1.98 metres tall, has notched 49 knockouts in his 59 professional fights, and has lost three.
For his part, 38-year-old former cruiserweight world champion Jean-Marc Mormeck said he did not fear the Ukrainian, who will have a much wider reach due to his height. "I have an iron will and I am tough. I fear no one and that is my mental strength. Does he have that as well?" Mormeck asked.
A reminder that the fight had to be rescheduled from its original December 10 2011 date after Wladimir pulled out to undergo surgery to remove a kidney stone.