When Wladimir Klitschko lost to Tyson Fury in November 2015, there was some thought that at the age of 39, having accomplished everything he could, the man who ruled the heavyweight division for a decade might consider retirement.
But Klitschko, now 40, says that was never a consideration on his end:
"There was never a thought about retiring. I was suffering with thoughts like 'Wait a second, that must be a dream'. I actually woke up and was like 'This is not for real', because that's not what I get used to.
"It took me two days to shake it off. By Tuesday, I said 'I'm going to execute the option in our contract, for a rematch'. By Wednesday we announced it. The first days, I just needed to understand what happened."
Klitschko (64-4, 53 KO) will meet Fury (25-0, 18 KO) in a rematch on October 29 in Manchester, England, the first time he’ll have fought in the United Kingdom since 2000, when he beat Monte Barrett on the Lennox Lewis-Frans Botha undercard.
The fight had originally been planned for July 9, but Fury was reportedly injured in training camp and had to postpone. There had been serious questions about his conditioning, and now that the rematch is officially set again, he missed the kickoff press conference this week.