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Wladimir Klitschko: Anthony Joshua can unify heavyweight division

Former champ Wladimir Klitschko thinks the man who retired him can become the true heavyweight king.

Boxing at Wembley Stadium Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Wladimir Klitschko firmly believes — and hopes — that reigning WBA and IBF heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua has the ability to unify the division and win all four major titles.

Joshua beat Klitschko on April 29 of this year, in what is almost certain to go down as the Fight of the Year, a back-and-forth heavyweight slugfest on a major stage, the likes of which we hadn’t seen in many years.

From The Sun:

“I’d say the more Joshua shines, the better I shine. If I lost, I want to make sure I lost to the better man. I wish, from the bottom of my heart, he continues to carry this torch for a long time and is very successful just like I was. I have passed the torch to the younger lion.”

Klitschko, who retired from boxing in August with a career record of 64-5 (53 KO), says he feels he gained more respect in defeat against Joshua, due to the excitement and epic nature of their fight, than he did in many of his wins over his long, often dominant career.

Joshua (20-0, 20 KO) is joined by Deontay Wilder (WBC) and Joseph Parker (WBO) as titleholders in the division right now. There have been talks for a March fight with Parker, and reportedly talks to unify with Wilder, too, but nothing concrete as of now.

If Joshua were to face and beat Parker in March, for the sake of discussion, he might then have to take care of a WBA mandatory defense against Alexander Povetkin, who won the spot on Friday in Russia.

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