Great champions are measured by how they bounce back from defeat.
Joe Louis KO’d Max Schmeling in one round in 1938. He got his revenge after Schmeling derailed, if only temporarily, the Brown Bomber Express two years earlier.
Lennox Lewis got his revenge in 1997 and 2001, when he KO’d Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman, respectively, his only two conquerors.
Wladimir Klitschko lost three fights prior his loss to Tyson Fury. He got his revenge against Lamon Brewster in 2007, but the loss to Ross Purrity, who defeated Wlad in 1998, was not avenged.
Revenge for the third loss, to Corrie Sanders in 2003, was left in the capable hands of his brother Vitali.
The July 9 rematch between former champion Wladimir Klitschko and WBA Super World heavyweight titlist Tyson Fury looks like a do-or-die affair. Klitschko is 40 years old. He has aged gracefully and is always in shape. He has bounced back from defeat before. What he has not yet done is bounce against an undefeated athletic 27-year-old who unlike Klitschko appears to be improving.
Tyson Fury has not make headlines for a week and hopefully he is training.
Klitschko, meanwhile, is fast getting down to the business at hand.
He told Sky Sports how good it feels to be the underdog.
“I love it,” he said. “I just feel younger. I feel better. Believe it or not, I’m enjoying the position I’m at right now. I’m relieved. I’m relaxed but alert.”
If Klitschko can stay relaxed but alert, and throw punches, we might have a title fight to remember.
Klitschko continued, “I want to show to myself and to my fans that I can become a champion again and can solve that challenge positively with a positive end for me.
“I never had a doubt before I made the decision and executed the option on the contract of a rematch. As a matter of fact, I’m very happy about it.”
If Klitschko is happy, so are we. Still, there’s the matter of Tyson Fury to contend with, who isn’t going anywhere soon, and not without a fight.
“I’m enjoying the stage and enjoying being an athlete,” said Klitschko. “I know it’s not going to last forever but at the current stage, I do love what I’m doing and I do like where I’m at right now as a challenger.
“I’m happier and I have a chance to make it straight and bounce back. I feel free. I do feel less pressure and just reloaded.
“It will be a boxing match that will be so enjoyable for the fans and for me as well. I will knock Tyson Fury out.”
It sounds like Dr. Steelhammer is itching for a fight.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.