Will 41-year-old fight legend Wladimir Klitschko exercise the 'immediate rematch' clause in the Klitschko vs Joshua contract?
(Image courtesy of Sky Sports)
The real question is: Why is Wlad being so indecisive in making the rematch official?
It's not about the money or the location.
Per rumors, Klitschko has been waffling on his decision to return. First, he wants the rematch and then retirement seems like the better choice.
...And then he wants the rematch again.
Keep in mind, immediately after the fight Klitschko was gung-ho on a rematch.
It's easy to get caught up in the moment. Despite losing to IBF Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua in April, Wlad's stock rose. Not only was it one of his best performances in his career, the fight was one of the greatest in heavyweight title history - And he almost scored a knockout.
At the time, a rematch seemed to be a no-brainer.
But now, after having had time to mull over the decision to face Joshua again, Wlad's had second thoughts.
Wladimir was obsessed with winning that bout, was extremely prepared mentally and physically, and had a solid game plan. In fact, it was Klitschko's swagger that was partially responsible for the buzz that fight generated.
How is Wladimir Klitschko going to attain that same level of hunger and focus the second time around? And what can he do differently to change the outcome of a rematch?
To win the rematch, Wlad will not only have to train with the same intensity, focus and determination he had for their April bout, he'll need an even better game plan... if one exists.
Joshua vs Klitschko 2 -
(fight still tentative)
Date: November 11
Location: Las Vegas
Venue: T-Mobile Arena
Broadcast (not confirmed):
SKY Sports (UK); Showtime (U.S.), HBO (Delayed U.S.)
Titles: WBA / IBF
Prior to his April super showdown with Anthony Joshua, many who favored Wlad (like myself) noticed a quiet confidence in the 41-year-old. It's a certain swagger that was self-assured but not arrogant. But today, we are seeing something different in Wladimir, and that's not a good sign if you're a Klitschko fan.
Can a 41-year-old dog learn new tricks? And can Wlad summon same the desire and intensity he had for the first fight?
Joshua vs Klitschko - Awesome Rd 5
Should it be confirmed, will we see the overly tentative version of Wlad who'll be content to hit, hug and hold?
Now, given that he's been KO'd by Joshua, we are probably more likely to see more a defensive-minded Klitschko in the rematch - A fighter who might give Anthony too much respect.
And let's not forget, that cautious, overly-pensive style won has won him a lot of fights. However, as we saw in his fight with Tyson Fury, that style doesn't work against well-schooled fighters of comparable or greater size, like Anthony Joshua.
Against Fury in 2015, Wlad's output was hideous as he landed a dreadful 52 punches and 8 powershots in the entire 12 rounds. Aesthetically, it may have been one of the worst heavyweight title bouts in history.
I was eagerly looking forward to the rematch but am having second thoughts now due to Wlad's indecisiveness in accepting a second fight.
How confident is he this time? And what version of Wlad should we expect in the rematch?