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08th Jun 2017

Vitali Klitschko reveals the wrong advice he gave his brother during defeat to Anthony Joshua

He blames himself

Darragh Murphy

Tempers flared in the Ukrainian’s camp when Wladimir Klitschko was finished by Anthony Joshua at Wembley.

Shortly after one of the most thrilling heavyweight contests in years, Wladimir’s brother, Vitali, clashed with the victorious Brit in the centre of the ring.

Vitali, a former three-time heavyweight champion of the world, was incensed by a comment from ‘AJ’ which was lost in translation but he wasn’t just angry with the London 2012 gold medallist.

He was also upset with himself.

The older of the Klitschko brothers has come out and admitted that he feels like he was at fault for Wladimir’s defeat.

‘Dr. Steelhammer’ had Joshua in considerable trouble in the sixth round when a right hand split Joshua’s guard and buckled the knees of the 27-year-old.

The finish looked on for Klitschko but he failed to pour it on his injured opponent, instead opting for the safer route by racking up points through the latter rounds in the hope that the judges would see the fight in his favour.

Vitali has since revealed that he was to blame for offering that advice to his brother and that he now regrets his words from the corner.

“Immediately after the fight, we were barely speaking,” Vitali said, with quotes appearing on “We do not need to talk, it was just enough to look into each other’s eyes.

“Only in the locker room, I thanked him for one of the best fights of his career. I know how important this fight was for him, and unfortunately, we saw what happened. In the heavyweight division, each punch can be decisive.

“I blame myself for the defeat of my brother, I share some of the blame.

“When Wladimir almost knocked Joshua out, I gave him the wrong advice. I was positive that Joshua, with his huge muscle mass, would not be able to last [the distance].

“I advised Wladimir not to rush anything. I had hoped that after the seventh, the eighth round… Joshua would really slow down. Now I think that maybe it was a mistake, maybe it was necessary to finish him off sooner.”