Promoter Eddie Hearn reacts to Klitschko retirement news that will see his fighter Anthony Joshua now take on a different foe next.
Tributes have been pouring in all day for Wladimir Klitschko after he made the news official that he’s hanging up the gloves.
In many ways it signals the end of an era for heavyweight boxing and allows the new era to further flourish and grow with a number of younger champions around the world.
Most notably Klitschko conqueror last April, Anthony Joshua, who will now be facing Kubrat Pulev next up. Speaking on BBC Radio today Joshua’s promoter reacted to the news by saying:
“As a fan as much as I wanted to see the rematch, I think it’s an honourable decision. He’s had a wonderful career, goes out on the greatest night in British boxing history. In a night where he put his heart on his sleeve, he went to war. He got probably more respect then he’s ever got in his whole career in that performance against Joshua. Part of me is very happy for Wladimir Klitschko – not as happy as we might not fight in Vegas now (laughs) but good news for the fans in the UK as well.”
“We’ll now focus our attention on our mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. He is our number one mandatory challenger with the IBF – from Bulgaria now based in Germany. He’s number one with the IBF. When we got the agreement to fight Klitschko he was (Joshua) under the provision with the IBF that if it wasn’t Klitschko – it had to be Pulev. We’ll work on the dates now and that will get that done very quickly.”
Pulev will be a fight no doubt Joshua will be a strong favourite to win in.
After that’s out of the way, calls for big fights with the likes of Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will come thick and fast inevitably.
Here’s what Klitschko had to say on his YouTube channel today following his retirement announcement:
Wow! So many people interested in my statement. Server broke down. So look here…https://t.co/iZnjFtxHeT
— Klitschko (@Klitschko) August 3, 2017