What a great year for boxing!
First, Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) and Wladimir Klitschko (64-5, 3 KOs) put on one of the greatest shows in heavyweight history. And now they’re considering doing it all over again. Joshua and British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn are currently negotiating a deal with Klitschko to give the people exactly what they want — a rematch!
There are still some details to iron out, like the location and the split. But for the most part, it seems like talks are moving along swimmingly. If everything goes according to plan, we could see the IBF, IBO, and WBA heavyweight titles back on the line very soon.
Will we see a rematch this year? If so, where? And how will it end? Let’s try to put a number on all those questions and more!
Joshua vs. Klitschko Rematch Odds
Odds the fight occurs before year-end 2017: 1/3
Both parties seem eager to make this rematch happen. Joshua will have to fight the little-known Kubrat Pulev if this fight falls through, and this is by far the more profitable bout for him. Klitschko has some specific demands for the fight, but he seems very open to the rematch. He was one round away from potentially winning the first fight, so he’s eager for a second shot.
Odds on the fight location:
New York: 4/1
Promoter Eddie Hearn has already reserved October 28th at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, but Klitschko informed Joshua’s camp that he will only agree to a rematch if it’s held abroad. Then, out of left field, two huge bids came from Nigeria to host the fight.
Hearn is taking the offers seriously and is also keeping the option of a fight in China or Dubai open. There’s growing interest from the Asian and African market and Dubai has been known to drop some serious cash.
However, if it’s not held in the UK then the US is the likely location. Vegas, the Mecca of boxing, would make the most sense. And New York’s Madison Square Garden is always an excellent choice.
Joshua is yet to make his US debut (or his debut outside of the UK for that matter), and a rematch stateside would be a great way for him to introduce himself.
Odds Joshua lands another KO win: 13/7
In the first fight, Joshua came back from a brutal knockdown to send Klitschko to the canvas in the eleventh round — twice. Klitschko rose to his feet but the fight was stopped when Joshua laid him against the ropes and cleaned him out with a barrage of punches.
Before the eleventh, it seemed the fight would go the distance. Both fighters fought cautiously, paying a lot of respect to their opponent’s power. Klitschko knows that if he had been able to hold on a little longer, he could have won by decision.
The undefeated Joshua has never allowed a fight to go the distance, but Klitschko will have a better understanding of his opponent in the rematch.
Odds the fight goes the distance: 1/1
When Klitschko landed a knockdown in the sixth round, it seemed like only a matter of time before he would finish off the younger, less experienced boxer. But Joshua rallied, regaining his composure and even taking control of the fight.
When Joshua knocked Klitschko to the canvas for the second time in the eleventh round, it seemed unlikely that he would recover. But he almost did despite all the damage inflicted on him in a single round.
Both fighters showed that they are notoriously difficult to put away, and it took a surge in the dying rounds of the fight to put an end to it.
Odds Klitschko retires if he loses: 1/4
During his decade-long reign, Klitschko collected every heavyweight title he could get his hands on and ruled over the division with an iron fist. Now, at 41 years old, he has nothing left to prove. He’s already reached the pinnacle of boxing and it’s time to pass the torch.
With two back-to-back losses, a third defeat would likely signal the end for him. He came inches away from beating Joshua in the first fight, so it’s understandable he would want another shot. But if he loses again, it’s probably time to hang up the gloves.
Over/Under on the PPV buys: 1.7 million
Before his brief hiatus, Klitschko raked in 1.6 million buys for his fight against Bryant Jennings and 1.04 million against Tyson Fury.
Those are some enviable numbers, but if the Joshua v Klitschko rematch is promoted correctly, it could be the biggest career payday for both fighters. Joshua is the new star of the heavyweight division and Klitschko is the beloved old guard. It has all the ingredients of being a mega-fight: two wildly popular fighters, an extremely significant bout, and an interesting back story.
Given how entertaining the first fight was, I have no doubt fans would fork out the money to buy the rematch.