Is it the end of the road for Klitschko?

May 25, 2017

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Is it the end of the road for Klitschko?



Boxing’s heavyweight division roared back to life after the Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko showdown at Wembley Stadium last month. Joshua and Klitschko fought a battle for the ages in front of a massive 90,000 stadium audience. The fight was so good that many quarters are now talking about a rematch.

Wladimir Klitschko had a rematch clause and he made it known during the post fight ring interviews that he was interested in exercising it. In the days after the fight, Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn also expressed their desire to book the rematch. And with their first fight drawing over 1.5M PPV buys in the UK alone, the prospect of a rematch is very tempting.
But Klitschko isn’t the only heavyweight looking to get the next crack at Anthony Joshua. There are others waiting in the wings like WBC champ Deontay Wilder and WBO King Joseph Parker. The likes of Luis Ortiz, Tyson Fury and Kubrat Pulev are also in the mix. All are good fights for Anthony Joshua but then again, there is Wladimir Klitschko.

The latest odds taken from bookies (as of 24th May) suggest that Klitschko has a 4/1 chance of fighting AJ next whilst Kubrat Pulev and Deontay Wilder are also both in the running.

For Klitschko to still be considered for a Joshua rematch is surely a massive compliment, given his age and the fact that he has lost his last two fights. Based on his most recent outing though, you’ve got to agree with those odds.

While Joshua knocked Klitschko out big time in the 11th, it wasn’t a walk in the park for the young champion. AJ led by just two and three points in two of the judges scorecards and was trailing by two on the third. Post fight punch stats show that Klitschko wasn’t totally outgunned. Joshua blanked Klitschko 15-0 in punches landed during the fateful round 11. The final punch stats showed that AJ out-landed Wlad 107-94 in total punches landed. That means that prior to Round 10, Klitschko landed more blows. Klitschko’s advantage came from his trademark jabs. He landed it with regularity and it kept him in the fight. Despite these excellent signs, Wladimir Klitschko still lost and that may be an ominous sign.
While Klitschko threw almost a hundred punches fewer, that may have been by design to preserve his energy. But then again, maybe the younger Joshua kept on beating him to the gun and Klitschko could no longer pull the trigger. Klitschko hurt AJ in the 6th but could not finish him off. A younger Dr. Steelhammer would’ve put Joshua away. The 41 year old version could no longer show the same killer instinct. The younger Joshua was able to survive and recover. The longer the fight went, Joshua appeared to be in better condition. Not to say Wlad wasn’t, but the younger fighter had more left in the tank. These brings us to our question: Does this mean it is this the end for Wladimir Klitschko?


 

Wladimir Klitschko gave Anthony Joshua the fight of his life. The fight was close, no doubt about it. In fact, you can even say that Klitschko turned back the hands of time with a vintage performance against AJ. But even then, his best was not enough against the younger, bigger, faster and more powerful Joshua. Five years ago, that fight could have ended differently. But Wlad is now 41 and not getting any younger.
Wladimir Klitschko has fought back from every defeat of his career. He has come back stronger after each debacle. Even if he lost to Joshua, he was many times better than when he fought Fury. That itself was a victory. But then Klitschko isn’t just fighting men now. At 41, he is also fighting an inevitable and unbeatable foe in Father Time. Every great athlete in history has fallen to Father Time. So will Wladimir Klitschko.

Unfortunately and sad as this sounds, it may be the end of the road for Wladimir Klitschko. Wlad still has the power and experience to compete with the top heavyweights. But he no longer has what it takes to topple the best in the game today. The times have changed and a new sheriff has arrived. The Klitschko era ended when Tyson Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. It’s a new era now. The Anthony Joshua era. Wladimir Klitschko has nothing more to prove. It’s time to move on.

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