What is next for the old dragon Wladimir Klitschko?
By Gerardo Granados: Last night at Wembley Stadium, London, UK, Wladimir Klitschko lost to Anthony Joshua by TKO11 in a great fight. By the time of the stoppage, I had it scored 95-93 for Joshua; it was a competitive fight until the end. At the fifth round I thought it was all over for the old Dragon, but then he showed the heart and determination of a true Champion and knocked down Joshua in the next round. Thru the fight and mostly at the 11 round Wladimir earned all my respect and admiration, the old Dragon went out as a true ring warrior and no one can ever criticize him for not have taken a dangerous foe on his comeback.
After the fight ended I saw many “passing the torch” comments, but how can there be a passing of the torch when the torch sits in hands of Tyson Fury?
I want to be clear that I don’t hate Joshua but also I am not his fan boy, not even if I do enjoy his brutal boxing style based on strength and size. How is Anthony Joshua supposed to be the next great heavyweight champion without first beat the man who is the legit Heavyweight Champion of the World? How come when two years ago Fury schooled Klitschko many didn’t give to him the recognition and respect he deserved but now Joshua gets all the accolades?
I cannot comprehend the hate and lack of respect towards Tyson Fury from the major media puppets and the new wave of soft fight fans. Many criticize him for his indiscipline but I am a huge Johnny Tapia fan so to me Fury is a role model citizen. Hey listen this is prize fighting not Ballet or Jockey, fighters must behave accordingly.
Thru the years I have been critical of Wladimir´s robotic boxing style, even on Saturday I saw how he wasted his chances on the inside by clinching. His routine clinching habit might have caused him losing the fight when Joshua predicted the clinch and landed a clean hard upper cut that was the prelude of the end for the brave veteran.
But none the less after last Saturday night Wladimir´s gritty performance, I now can say that I am more of a fan of Klitschko. And I even believe that the old Dragon should not retire just yet because I am certain that he can still be competitive at the top level. Klitschko at this late in his boxing career still is a threat for many top ten contenders. With the lack of talent in the heavyweight division, he could extend his career, other than Tyson Fury, Klitschko still can beat most of the top ten contenders.
There are two belt holders who I think Wladimir can beat, I am not saying that it would be a walk in the park, but I would not hesitate to bet on him to beat them. One is Joseph Parker the WBO belt holder. Parker is quite skilled but has not reached yet the level to outbox or outsmart Klitschko. I bet Wladimir can win on points even in New Zealand against Parker.
The other one is the WBC belt holder Bronze Bomber Deontay Wilder, a raw puncher, he has freak punching power in both hands, he is a lanky heavyweight who is also brave, determined and isn’t afraid to take a punch but skills wise isn’t in the level of the old Dragon. I believe that Wilder is tailor made for Klitschko to win by Knockout.
A rematch against Joshua sounds good, even if Anthony proved to be too strong for Wladimir; Klitschko had the chance to beat him in the sixth round but failed to go for the kill or at least not to allow Joshua to recuperate in the next round. The main reason why this was a great fight is that Joshua doesn’t have elite level boxing skills; as he mostly relies on his strength, size and punching power.
If Wladimir Klitschko was to retire then a boxing era would have ended. If he was to continue then it would be very interesting to see not him, but to see how Parker and Wilder would handle a rugged experienced veteran former Champion.
Wladimir has won it all now in my eyes. There is really nothing left for him to prove, but as a selfish fight fan I refuse to let go a good fighter. But what about the reader, what could be next for the old Dragon?
- Oleksandr Usyk wants rematch in Kiev, Ukraine with Anthony Joshua
- Roy Jones Jr. says Usyk won’t improve for rematch with Joshua
- Eddie Hearn says Joshua vs. Usyk rematch likely in UK next February
- Oleksandr Usyk: I’ll fight Anthony Joshua again