Could Wladimir Klitschko drive Anthony Joshua to redemption?
If there’s one man who knows all about dusting himself off after getting knocked down, especially on United States soil, it’s Wladimir Klitschko.
The Ukrainian enjoyed a decade of dominance between September 2005 and November 2015. But not before taking his stateside lumps first.
Klitschko was beaten for the vacant world title in devastating fashion by Lamont Brewster. Similarly to Joshua, the end came in the fifth after Klitschko had managed to knock his opponent down first.
At one point in the fourth, Brewster looked out of it, although Klitschko badly ran out of gas and was pummelled until he could hardly stand.
Even with the great Emanuel Steward by his side, Klitschko had flaws which could have been fatal to his career without changes.
Those were defects Steward worked on meticulously until corrected. Thus was the nature of the trainer.
Joshua needs to do likewise, and whether that’s remaining with Robert McCracken – who knows?
But why not draft in Klitschko, even in an advisory capacity?
The pair get on well from their 2017 fight, Plus, Klitschko has always stated his admiration for Joshua in previous interviews.
AJ needs a rebuilding job…and fast. Whilst Klitschko has been there and done it before eventually taking over the sport.
Everybody knows Joshua has the tools to something similar. That’s provided he too can work on those stamina issues.
Pacing himself has never been a strong point of Joshua, something Klitschko also had to learn the hard way.
As things stand, Joshua has one shot to win it all back. One shot at redemption – in a fight expected to head back to America.
Should Joshua lose again to Andy Ruiz Jr., it could be a long wait to gain another chance at the title.
Al Haymon would hold all five versions of the crown. Ruiz Jr. would retain four and Joshua rival Deontay Wilder the other.
Following a Wilder v Fury rematch early next year, Ruiz is then expected to face the winner if he can repeat his amazing Joshua stoppage.
Heading into that fight without some sort of shake-up in his team could be career suicide for Joshua. He could do a lot worse than asking his old friend for advice when the going has gotten considerably tougher.
One thing’s for sure, Klitschko would be receptive to any future Joshua approach.