It’s a sad fact that some of the very best champions end their careers with a string of defeats to boxers they’d most likely have easily beaten in their prime.
Wladimir Klitschko has lost his last two fights. Should he come back and risk his legacy in a rematch with Anthony Joshua?
Klitschko had been unbeaten for 11 years before an appalling performance against Tyson Fury saw him lose his World Heavyweight title. He could easily have called it a day after that fight even though he had a rematch clause. With Fury having personal problems and calling off the return fight, Klitschko didn’t just sit back and retire, he set up an even bigger fight with Anthony Joshua in an attempt to win back his heavyweight titles.
That contest also ended in defeat and it was sad to see the former champion stopped in the 11th round. Again, he could have just bowed out and ended his career but it now appears certain that later this year, a rematch with Joshua will take place. Is he being foolish and risking not just his legacy but his health, or could he end the year with those title belts around his waist again? Betting odds heavily favour Joshua with 2/7 to beat Klitshko. For many, it’s already a done deal, and even if you don’t bet frequently you may not want to miss out on this opportunity, as there are free bets offers from leading bookmakers who offer odds on this contest.
Hope Yet for Klitschko
Klitschko may well have been stopped by Joshua but there are plenty of reasons for him to still believe he has the beating of his younger opponent. Remember, one of the judges had the former champion ahead on points at the time the fight ended. More importantly, Klitschko knows that he can hurt Joshua and knock him down. A bit more pressure would have most likely seen him stop Joshua and regain his title belts.
The Ukrainian put a few pundits in their place as he put in a much better performance against Joshua than in his previous fight. His movement was impressive at times and that says a lot considering were talking about one of the greatest plodders of all time. Anyone who thought that the heavy punching Joshua could wipe out the former champion in the early rounds was made to look rather foolish – but could Klitschko repeat that performance?
Joshua Eager for Rematch
There are warning signs for Klitschko as he prepares for this rematch which looks certain to happen after agreement has been reached with the IBF. Joshua may have continued to resemble a novice who has arrived at a party a few years too early, but he is bound to have learnt some lessons from his performance in the Wembley fight. He knows he can beat the former champion – and not just that, he can floor him. A quicker start and boosted confidence can only mean trouble for Wladimir. Then Joshua can start planning for the unification match that WBC Champion Deontay Wilder is keen to see happen.
It’d be sad to see Klitschko end his career with three straight defeats but after that rousing performance at Wembley, a rematch was inevitable. He still has the power to compete at the very top level. Klitschko could easily have taken the easier option of taking on the WBO Champion Joseph Parker, who was a huge disappointment in his last fight. But no, Wladimir wants to get revenge on Joshua, and will then probably have Fury and Deontay Wilder in his sights. There seems to be a lot of life left in his career – but will it end in success or retirement?