Is Joshua-Klitschko II On The Way?
By: Sean Crose
Last month, fight fans were treated to what was arguably the best heavyweight title fight in the past two decades. For Anthony Joshua gained heavyweight supremacy by besting aging icon Wladimir Klitschko in a terrific back and forth battle that had both men hitting the mat before Joshua finally blasted his way to victory in the 11th round. Not only was the bout itself thrilling, it was held before close to a hundred thousand fans in London’s Wembley stadium. The mood surrounding the event was absolutely electric and – for once – the match itself delivered.
Soon afterward, almost immediately so, talking heads started proclaiming loudly that boxing was finally back. Hopefully, that proves to be true. But Klitschko may be coming back, as well. The man had a rematch clause in his contract for the first Joshua fight and now Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn feels like Klitschko will act upon it. This may disappoint some fans, who want to see Joshua move on to bigger and better things after finally disposing of Klitschklo in a thorough manner several weeks ago. Still, Klitschko is legally free to do what he wants. And, being a legit sportsman with a sense of honor, he would surprise few if he were to choose to give Joshua another crack.
The question, of course, is would Klitschko have much of a chance of winning a rematch? In all honesty, it might be hard for some to see how he would. The man gave Joshua everything he had the first time. Many are even saying it was Klitschko’s best performance in years – if not ever. Yet he still came up short. What could he do to improve upon the last performance? People also need to remember the fact that Klitschko is no longer a young man. He’s in his forties now and, like it or not, age does matter.
Regardless, Joshua-Klitschko II would be a must see event, even if it would prove incapable of matching the thrill of the first go-round. Klitschko, who has long been accused of being boring, was exciting enough the last time to indicate a second bout wouldn’t be sleep inducing (would he carry out the same strategy against Joshua again, though?). Add in the fact that it’s two big men fighting for big stakes and the bout becomes all the harder to resist.
And then there’s the rising star of Joshua, who is quite possibly the most exciting heavyweight since Tyson. In fact, he may be on the verge of becoming an international draw regardless of who he fights. That’s something the heavyweight division hasn’t seen in ages.