Former WBC heavyweight world champion and the Mayor of Kiyv, the capital of Ukraine, Vitali Klitschko was present in person when his compatriot Oleksandr Usyk shocked the boxing world and defeated Anthony Joshua to become the new unified heavyweight champion. With the rematch expected to be up next, Klitschko insists Joshua should remain on course to avenge his defeat against Usyk, failing which would symbolize weakness on Joshua’s part.
Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs), the reigning WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight champion, won the fight against Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) via unanimous decision at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on 25th September.
This is not the first time that Joshua had lost his unified title. In June 2019, Andy Ruiz Jr. had handed AJ his first professional career defeat and became the unified champion, but Joshua reclaimed the throne in the rematch six months later. This time, the Briton has already exercised the rematch clause against Usyk, with promoter Eddie Hearn picking April as a potential date for Joshua vs Usyk 2.
Vitali Klitschko wants Anthony Joshua to remain on track for the Oleksandr Usyk rematch
However, there is word that Joshua may step aside to let Usyk face off against WBC titleholder Tyson Fury, allowing the undisputed heavyweight championship fight to take place. Touching on the subject, Vitali Klitschko says while its all upto Joshua to take the decision, stepping aside from a rematch would be a sign of weakness.
“It is his decision,” Klitschko said in an interview with Sky News, “But my personal opinion? If Joshua sidesteps in this moment, when the boxing audience expects a rematch and wants to see Joshua vs Usyk, it would show weakness. Joshua, don’t do that please. As fighters, we fight not just for ourselves but for the audience. The audience decides. If the audience wants the fight, it must happen. If Joshua sidesteps, I am not sure that the interest in Joshua would be so big in the future.”
“Everyone expects the rematch between Usyk and Joshua. Usyk is so strong or did Joshua make mistakes? Who is stronger? That question interests every boxing fan. Let’s receive an answer. That’s why this fight must happen. Huge fight. Right now, everybody doubts if Joshua is strong enough to fight Fury. He can give the answer in the Usyk fight.”
“If Joshua beats Usyk there will be huge interest [in Joshua vs Fury]. It will be the main fight of the past 10 years. Joshua is a classic boxer, Fury is unorthodox. Both are punchers, both can decide the fight at any moment. Both are world-class fighters and can knock each other out at any second,” Klitschko added. [H/T Boxingscene.com]
- Vitali Klitschko says Anthony Joshua should not step down from the Oleksandr Usyk rematch as it would be seen as a weakness on Joshua’s part
- There is word about Joshua potentially nodding to step aside from the rematch to let Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk undisputed fight happen