The proposed rematch of Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua has all but been confirmed with money-grubbing – sorry, promotor – Eddie Hearn, earlier this week announcing that the fight will happen.
The said location is supposedly Cardiff, but it is a fight that has already been put to bed; one of the greatest fights of the 21st century, the better man won; let’s leave it at that.
Regardless where you stand on whether Joshua-Klitschko 2.0 should happen, it will no doubt receive wide media attention following the attraction the first fight gained.
Wladimir’s brother, Vitali, has recently given the fight it’s first talking point as the former heavyweight champion has blamed himself for the defeat of the Ukrainian back in April:
“I blame myself for the defeat of my brother, I share some of the blame. When Wladimir almost knocked Joshua out, I gave him the wrong advice.
I was positive that Joshua, with his huge muscle mass, would not be able to last. I advised Wladimir not to rush anything. I had hoped that after the seventh, the eighth round, Joshua would really slow down.
Now I think that maybe it was a mistake, maybe it was necessary to finish him off sooner.”
— Vitali Klitschko, speaking to boxing scene
Hindsight is a beautiful thing – something we’re all very aware of – and Vitali is feeling the full effects of it in the face of defeat.
The former champion’s advice on standing off Joshua was the wrong message; Wlad was on top, and had the chance – it appeared – to finish AJ off, had he gone through the gears in the seventh and eight after knocking the Englishman down in the sixth.
It’s easy to make such assessments when analysing what went wrong and right after a defeat, but the Klitschko camp must feel like it was a missed opportunity to not kill AJ off during this period of the fight.
However, with AJ’s endurance and chin answering all the questions whether he could withstand the punches, it showed how he was fully deserving of the victory. It’s another reason as to why it would seem Vitali isn’t that keen on a second fight between the two:
“He has nothing to prove, but whatever decision he makes – I will support him.”
Like any good brother, Vitali says how he will support Wlad’s decision; but, it would appear that logic and rationality even outweigh something as powerful as hindsight. Wlad had his chance to end AJ’s dominance, he missed his opportunity, and Joshua won fair and square. Let the Englishman now move on with unifying the division.