Former World Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko has shocked the boxing world by stating his desire to return to the ring and avenge his brother’s defeat against Anthony Joshua.
The revelation will come as a surprise to boxing fans as Vitali (brother to Wladimir Klitschko) has been absent from boxing for five years, moving into politics following retirement from the sport.
Brother Wladimir lost to current Heavyweight star Joshua in a slug-fest of a fight back in April. Both fighters hit the canvas but it was Joshua who came out on top with a devastating series of punches to stop the Ukrainian.
In a bout that ebbed and flowed, Wladimir managed to send Joshua to the canvas in round six. However it appeared that he failed to capitalize on a chance to end the fight, instead taking his time and giving Joshua the opportunity to regroup.
From there Joshua gained a second wind and recovered to stop Klitschko in round eleven after a scintillating uppercut set up the stoppage.
However Vitali, now a Ukrainian politician and current mayor of Kiev believes he himself was partly to blame for Wladimir’s loss after giving poor advice in his corner and now wishes to have the opportunity to bring the belts back to the family. In an interview he told Fight Hub TV “I feel a bit guilty, because I told to Wladimir in the corner please don’t be so active in round number six when Wladimir sent Joshua to the floor.
“I expect a big-muscled athlete to not recover, I was surprised, Joshua recovered so fast and stopped Wladimir.
“If I didn’t tell him to stop, then Wladimir might have knocked him out, six or maybe round number seven.”
Vitali even labelled Joshua’s win as “lucky” which won’t go down too well with the current Heavyweight king.
There is no doubting the achievements of Vitali Klitschko during his 16 year career. He fought 47 times as a professional losing only twice, but to suggest he could return at the age of 46 against the athletic Joshua and claim the win would be difficult for most to accept. However Vitali has revenge on his mind points out the brothers have a history of avenging each others defeats.
“I lost the fight against Chris Bird, Wladimir came back and destroyed Chris Bird, he knocked him out.
“Wladimir lost the fight against Corrie Sanders, I knock out Corrie Sanders next fight, because I defend my brother.”
“A fight against Joshua is my best wish. I have a feeling I can do it better, I have to fight Joshua and bring back the belt to my family”.
He would certainly be the underdog and with Joshua already facing IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev this month and other match-ups in the offing against the likes of Deontay Wilder or Joseph Parker, it would be difficult to see a fight with retired Vitali gaining momentum.