Wladimir Klitschko's decision to retire from boxing instead of taking a rematch with Anthony Joshua is understandable, says Johnny Nelson.
I'm not surprised actually. We all talk about how exciting the fight was, the shots that were thrown. Wladimir Klitschko at 41 years-old, I had never seen perform so well for at least eight years before that fight. He could not get any better, he could not train any better, or get any fitter.
Wladimir, the shots he took, we thought they were dramatic, amazing, but can you imagine receiving them. All of a sudden he's thinking to himself, I've got to go through this all again. He's now starting to think like a civilian, thinking 'I don't need the money' - and I'm quite sure they offered him a hell of a lot of money for the rematch. I'm quite sure they tried everything possible to entice him back in to fight again because it was a big extravaganza, but he doesn't need it.
He played the game and he played it well, and what a perfect man to pass the mantle on to in Anthony Joshua.
The indication was when he lost to Tyson Fury, within a week afterwards on his social media he put out that they were going to do it again. Since he lost to Anthony Joshua, people have heard whispers, you see him on his social media just socialising, just being a civilian. He's thinking I don't need this anymore, because it actually hurts. We loved watching it, but you have to think that he was on the receiving end of it.
The Importance of Klitschko
Wembley Stadium efforts provided closure on Wladimir Klitschko's accomplishments
He got the respect out of that fight, not just through the loss, but through the performance, through his attitude before, during, and after the fight. He played the game and he played it well, and what a perfect man to pass the mantle on to in Anthony Joshua.