I'm a fan - Klitschko tipping Joshua for long stay at the top

Anthony Joshua has two high-profile heavyweight rivals in Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, but he has Wladimir Klitschko's backing.

Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko face each other during the weigh-in prior to the Heavyweight Championship contest at Wembley Arena in London. (File photo)   -  Getty Images

Wladimir Klitschko has warned Anthony Joshua that long-term success is no simple task in the heavyweight division, but he is backing the IBF, WBO and WBA champion to deliver.

Joshua defeated Klitschko by knockout in 2017 and has since maintained his perfect winning record, most recently grounding Alexander Povetkin at Wembley last month.

The Briton continues to be linked with high-profile fights with rivals Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, who have each talked up their chances against Joshua, but Klitschko believes the 28-year-old is cut out for a long career at the top.

"We will see how much and how big [Joshua's] desire is to stay successful," said Klitschko. "It's easy to have success for a short period of time but to maintain it for a long time is really challenging.

"I'm a fan of Joshua so, due to his athletic qualities and age, I think he is going to hold the belts for a very long time."

For the time being, Klitschko is looking forward to Wilder's December 1 bout against Fury in Los Angeles.

"Wilder is a great puncher, he's very quick with his hands. On the other hand, he is facing an opponent that is awkward. It's going to be really exciting and I'm looking forward to it," said the Ukrainian.