Former WBC and WBO heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko 45-2 (41) has revealed he considered coming out of retirement after his younger brother Wladimir Klitschko 64-5 (53) failed in his bid to regain the IBF and WBA world titles against undefeated Briton Anthony Joshua 22-0 (21) in 2017.
The 47-year-old Ukrainian, who is now the mayor of Kiev and currently serves as head of the Kiev City State Administration, was overwhelmed by the desire to avenge his brother’s defeat.
“I had a great desire to get into the ring after the bout between Wladimir and Anthony Joshua. There was a desire to tear off Anthony’s head,” Vitali Klitschko told Bookie Ratings.
The Klitschko brothers, who dominated the heavyweight division in the late 2000s and into the 2010s, have a long history of avenging each other’s losses.
“In fact, in the career of the Klitschko brothers there was such an interesting component – I once lost to Chris Byrd – I was injured, but Wladimir in the next fight went against Chris and took revenge for his brother by knocking him out,” Klitschko continued.
“Then Wladimir lost the fight to Corrie Sanders and then the elder brother came out, knocked out and took revenge for him.
“Now I had no such opportunity, although the desire was great. There is a desire, but opportunities no longer allow.”
In his previous fight Wladimir Klitschko, 42, was stunningly upset by reigning lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 27-0-1 (19) for the WBA, IBF and WBO championships in Germany in 2015.
The Klitschko brothers made a combined 36 defences of their world championship belts across two title reigns each.
Wladimir made a total of 23 title defences including 18 straight defences during his second tenure as champion that ended when he fought Fury.
Vitali made a total of 13 defences before retiring in 2012 after 11 straight defences of the WBC title he won against Sanders in 2004.