Joe Biden "looking forward" to vice-presidential debate faceoff

(CNN) -- Vice President Joe Biden indicated he expects to go toe-to-toe with his rival, Rep. Paul Ryan, during Thursday's only vice presidential debate in Kentucky.

Departing for the debate from the National Guard base in New Castle, Delaware Thursday, October 11th --  Biden said he's "looking forward" to the faceoff, according to pool reports.

Asked by a reporter if his debate strategy was the boxing tactic known as "rope-a-dope" the 69-year-old, former Senator Biden replied, "You ever seen me rope-a-dope?"

The rope-a-dope strategy--famously used by boxing legend Muhammad Ali in a match against the younger George Foreman in 1974- is a method of tiring out the opponent, resting against the rope and blocking punches as the opponent wears himself out.

Ryan, who is 27 years Biden's junior, said in an exclusive interview with CNN's Dana Bash he's not intimated by Biden's age.

"I'm actually excited about it," said Ryan of the vice-presidential debate. "I came to Congress when I was 28 years old. I'm used to debating people who are older."

Ryan noted, however, that one of the reasons his team chose Ted Olson, a conservative legal scholar, to play the role of Biden in mock debates is because he is "about Joe's age."

Fittingly, the vice presidential candidates will square off Thursday in Danville, Kentucky -- Ali's home state.

CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash contributed to this report.

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