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Anthony Joshua, quite rightly so, received a shed load of praise for his victory over Wladimir Klitschko last night.

The 27-year-old stopped his Ukrainian counterpart in the 11th round after going hell-for-leather to leave Klitschko on the ropes.

After the referee stopped the fight, the nation went mental in celebration for Joshua's victory - with many more punching the air in delight at a 22/1 penultimate round stoppage.

Credit: PA

However, yes Joshua may have retained the IBF, WBA and IBO world heavyweight belts, yes he's won 19 of 19 fights, and yes he's pocketed a healthy £15m minimum from the victory, BUT there has also has to be plenty of credit sent in the direction of 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko.

The way he conducted himself, the manner throughout the build-up, the weigh-in and the fight, earned him enough respect to receive the plaudits despite the defeat.

For comparison, Klitschko started his professional boxing career in 1996, Joshua was in his early years of primary school. Klitschko, in that time, has taken on 69 opponents and won 64 of those fights.

Credit: PA

He's held the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight titles, beaten the likes of David Haye, and prior to last night had beaten all the former Olympic champions that had come in his path.

Dr Steelhammer, his nickname, may have lost his last two fights to AJ and Tyson Fury but that hasn't stopped him wanting a rematch.

At the age of 38 Floyd Mayweather had stepped back from the ring, Manny Pacquiao announced his initial retirement at the age of 37, and Ricky Hatton was 33 - yet at 41 Klitschko still hasn't had enough.

"Of course, we have it [a rematch] in the contract, right now I'm interested," the Ukrainian told Sky Sports.

"I need to analyse what the heck happened. I wish I could raise my hand, instead of somebody who didn't make it back-to-back.

"But congratulations to Anthony, he got up, he fought back, and he won the titles."

Even that little speech showed how magnanimous he is, how he's more than a thug who steps into the ring.

He's not one to shout, even when Fury tried all his tricks in the press conference over a year ago, Klitschko just sat there and took it.

At 41, he took AJ all the way, he even floored him during round six. And after the fight, the plaudits were numerous.




For such longevity in the game, Klitschko will always be a legend of the sport. He'll want to end on a high - that was the purpose of fighting Joshua, to get away from the defeat by Fury.

He's a studious character, so he'll be analysing last night's fight to the nth degree. If the rematch does happen, then there is no doubt he'll train as hard, both physically and as mentally as he can.

Only George Foreman has won a recognised a world title past the age of 40, Klitschko, you would put your money on, could become the second.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Michael Minay

Mike Minay is a trending journalist at LADbible. He’s co-ordinated interviews with some of the big names from the world of news and sport including ITV’s Robert Peston, Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling and darts champion Michael van Gerwen. His reporting days began on University radio in Birmingham, before moving to BBC Sport Online – creating content for large events such as Wimbledon and the FA Cup final. Mike still commentates on Football League matches at the weekend. A Manchester LAD at heart.

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