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Now on BBC News, Extra Time.
Welcome to Extra Time.
In April 2017, heavyweight boxing
regained much of its credibility
with a pulsating fight
between Britain's Anthony Joshua
and Ukraine's Wladimir
Klitschko in London.
Both men were knocked down
as the fight went first one way,
and then the other, before
a decisive 11th round ended
in Joshua's victory.
A rematch would have
surely grossed as much -
if not more - than the first fight's
$30 million purse,
but more recently the defeated
Klitschko has announced his
But comebacks often prove
irresistible in boxing.
So is Klitschko really
finished in the ring
and if so, what's next?
Wladimir Klitschko welcome to Extra
Time. Wembley stadium, the opponent
British Anthony Joshua the
heavyweight title on the line. Can
you recapture now the kind of
atmosphere that prevailed in the
It was my first time being
back in London after the fight. --
this is. The first thing that
probably was kind of impressive to
me, my passport at Customs and I was
asked, well, we don't really need to
look at your passport, can we shake
your hand? A lot of people watched
it. Millions around the world. It
was a very important night in the
life of AJ and myself. We were
dedicated to the sport and our
performance. I was absolutely
obsessed to become third time world
champion and I did everything to
make that happen. I really had a
He did have an
opportunity, specifically toward the
end of the fifth, you had him on the
floor after years of being flawed.
You must have thought victory was in
reach. He said afterwards that you
rose to your feet after being
knocked down like The Terminator. He
saw in you still the ambition, the
On both sides. He
probably didn't think I would get up
and I didn't think he was going to
get up but, certainly, Joshua was
born as a champion that night, even
if the result was not what I was
expecting and I would have ended it
in a different way, I mean, I could
change the end result now, I
wouldn't because even if I lost, I
wanted so much.
That is an
extraordinary thing to say. Why do
you say such a thing? I understand
the mutual respect but still to say
that it was better that you lost
that one is an amazing thing.
would have been great for my ego to
wind but another side is being
involved in championship fights and
winning a lot but to experience -
which I did not really understand
that night directly - but to
experience winning so much by
losing, even I feel...
The crowd at
Wembley did appreciate you. You were
applauded. You are held in great
affection in Britain and are suppose
part of that is the fact that that
particular fight did ring a kind of
respectability back to the
heavyweight division, the absence of
trash talking, the mutual respect,
and the fact that it was the most
extraordinarily competitive fight.
will turn around and ask you, what
did you think I did for the
It is hard to judge
myself. It can do much better. You
as a journalist or they as fans
probably can describe it better.
What some people like about it was
that it was a complete departure
from what you had previously been
criticised for, jab and grab Dick in
boxing and this suddenly was a
really open fight in which, frankly,
either side could have won.
going to be... It does not matter
what you do you are going to get
Yes, did that criticism
It helped me, it pieced me
off. Each time that make because it
was unfair? Before that, it 11- 12
years ago, when I lost almost two
fights in a row against Brewster and
Anderson, I was written off, I was
the one that was a loser from both.
Even if I was OK before, suddenly I
was not OK any more and I was
tremendously criticised, terribly
criticised, I'm sorry. It was giving
me a lot of wind in the sales and I
was so pumped up because I was not
belonging where I was and so I
changed everything, I team, my
schedule, my attitude to work out,
are just dedicated my sport...
was a kind of motivation?
it as a compliment. Criticism gives
me energy. Something that I want to
prove is different.
Do not want to
take you back to a necessarily
totally dark place but the 11th
round when you were on the canvas
three times, what is it like then
from a physical and mental level to
be on the end of such a ferocious
onslaught? Few viewers to this
programme would have experienced
Well, I do not want to discuss
about how I felt because, when you
our dedicated to the cause and you
are not getting that, are you happy
about it? No, you are not. You just
observe that an you are taking it as
it is and I have learnt in the
How'd you take the physical
There is no physical pain to
the fight. Even if you feel physical
pain, that's the fear leaving your
That is how you deal with it
Yes it is the fear
leaving my body. It takes a lot of
different experiences that I have
collected... Anyway, the 11th round,
and get a comeback to what I was
telling you, as a fighter, you are
so emotionally attached to the goal
of winning the fight and if it is
not happening, it was insane. Of
course, I was emotionally upset but
then, suddenly, things turned around
and... ISIL a lot of my good points
because it now I was on the other
side. Suddenly I understood the
circle of life. --I saw. I have seen
my family members passing away, my
family members being born, it is the
circle of light and at some point,
even if you are experienced and you
know you can handle it, you can do
it, you are experienced, it tells
you you have everything under
control and then you understand, it
is probably the time you have to
pass the torch and I was so
fortunate that I passed the torch to
The circle of life,
this is deeply philosophical was
make it is deeply realistic and the
It is what it is. I do not
complain about it. Of course, my ego
is like wrinkled because they did
not achieve what I wanted but I have
achieved so much by losing.
talk about your retirement.
Why, why did you decide to retire?
Because it was under my terms.
It was perfect timing and you only
can and could understand it only
when the time is going to pass.
Right at the moment,
when I was making these decisions,
it was the most difficult decision
in my life, I didn't know what kind
of impact it is going to have
on my life, on myself,
on my ego and everything else,
but today, after a couple more
months passed, I would say
that it was the right decision.
Are you absolutely
ruling out a comeback?
Absolutely no chance of coming back?
Because boxing is full
of people that have said...
Never say never, right?
Never say never.
So there's some doubt in your mind?
Like, right now, I'm
speaking of right now,
I'm totally happy
where I am and what I am.
But right now it's November
2017, and in January,
February, 2018, you
could change your mind.
That's right and I am 41 and maybe,
George Foreman made and he was
45, maybe I'll wake up
in a few years and say,
I've still got it and I
feel like coming back.
But, honestly speaking,
I wish to myself that
I will never come back.
So I don't know...
I don't know what should happen
that I come back
but I don't know.
I have been there, I've done
that, I have seen it.
Have you given all that
you have to give to boxing?
As a fighter, the answer
is positive, yes, I gave it all.
It is not just the money is that
brings boxes back, not having a
purpose to their daily routine. Have
you done that?
I have tremendous
replacement. I am very happy. Just
ten days, I believe, after Wembley,
I was standing at an event, S 80
event, an annual convention. And
there were 20,000 people and are
represented together with one of
those CEO is for innovation and we
were talking about synergy and
challenge management. Challenge
management is something that I have
created as a method. It is
intellectual property in this case
and I am having it together as a
study course, a certified study
course. Self-management et cetera.
We are going third year and we have
built the centre of confidence and I
was standing there and performing
something that I was talking about
it and performing not with my fists.
It was awesome. I was just thinking,
well, I am actually having my arena
and my fight to announce these and
it was exciting. I had a general and
in my blood but I did not wear
So this is replacing boxing
but I wanted to talk to about
challenge management. It is set in a
rather elevated language, it deals
with dealing with challenges in
corporate or personal arena
It is not
rocket science. The world is
changing. If you just think about
ten years ago, you took a list of
the top ten best performer companies
and capitalisation of those
companies that oil, gas, steel, coal
companies. Any trading company but
now that you have IT companies. A
trillion for Apple, you have
boxer bring to business?
Is this is
everything. Your job is a business
as well. We are getting paid for it.
We are enjoying it, what you want to
do out of your life and that is the
main goal. Everything else is a
production of your activity,
financial production, finances this
case. So I'm very curious man. I
have always been and I'm enjoying
myself to get into the fields which
are unknown and people, we are in
the society thinking with
stereotypes. If you an actor, you
must be dumb. If you're a
journalist, you must be a liar. A
politician can be bought.
Stereotypes, that is what this
society thinks. And that I think
about my brother, speaking of him,
who would have thought that he would
become a politician and now the Mera
of the city of Kiev, the capital
city of the U -- of Ukraine.
pretty amazing. If he could
summarise the goal, the aim of
challenge management in one
sentence, how would you do that?
Well, in one sentence, it is a study
over six months, actually, but to
make it short, it's not about
challenges... Sorry, not about
problems in life, it is challenges.
Attitudes you have as a human.
Digitalisation was created by human
for human to solve certain issues.
The most challenging thing in our
life, also in our interview, we are
under temperature, so the more
information we get, the more we
spread out and get it over to the
viewers, the better it is.
take you back to your operations as
a promoter and in marketing and that
is part of your world at the moment.
Are you interested for example in
promoting UFC, mixed martial arts
boxing? Would you be interested in
promoting another McGregor-
Mayweather style fight.
be your thing? I think about the
fight, it was great. Nobody thought
it was going to work but it did
work. It was also criticised. Of
course, it was. You get criticised
as soon as you move on but I think
it was OK. Listen, it was not like a
boxing match. Not the high level.
Just maybe a little idea of how to
handle your hands and be in the
ring. McGregor was super disciplined
in this fight and Mayweather did his
thing. I think it was exciting.
People have satisfaction, they paid
a lot of money to watch it on
pay-per-view. Eventually, these
events made a tremendous amount of
money. It was good. Genuinely for
the sport, it was good. It shows
that are UFC fighter can be
I was really impressed
with it. Would you be happy to
promote an event like that?
not excluded. As I said, the world
is very fast. Innovations, even this
hybrid between MMA and boxing.
wondering whether a contest like
that, with an MMA fighter...
going to involve myself?
get back into the ring?
are satisfied. When two men fight, a
third wins. It you know, I just, I
am just going to enjoy myself,
continue to enjoy myself as someone
that is more in the background than
the foreground. And you probably
want to get a direct answer, yes or
no. I do not see myself in the ring
as a fighter. If that is going to
change, listen, maybe in five years
I'm going to change my mind and
break a performance record. I don't
know, is going to be in five years.
Never say never. But also this
saying, if you are 50, if you think
you are 20, you have lost 30 years
of real life. As the now, I am
totally at peace with my decision
and being not involved directly as
an athlete in the ring.
When we met
before, we talked a little bit about
the alphabet soup of the various
world boxing organisations. That
would be something that you could
attach yourself to, the campaign to
get a unified world boxing
authority. Frankly, it's been in a
mess for decades.
I wish and have a
dream that boxing is going to get
more transparent, more open. There
is one important thing I want to
mention. Only one thing counts in
boxing. Fans and athletes.
Promoters, managers, broadcasters --
broadcasters, sanctioning bodies,
everyone has its own interest but
what are the interests of bands and
athletes? It is the court. Without
them, the sport cannot exist. I
think when everyone thinks about
themselves and they are tearing the
sport apart, what do the fans think
about it? Getting myself to the
sport and trying to achieve goals, I
did achieve something but I don't
have the security. My health
insurance or life insurance or the
chance to get any education. It's
not fair. The pension, it is not
there. Look at the National Football
League in the US. If you perform
well, you get the pension. As an
actor, you have actors green guilt.
It's a union that gives you certain
protection for the time when you're
not going to do well but he did
perform before. You dedicated
yourself to the industry. It's
something that boxing is missing. It
not fair. I think it's very
important to change it. I'd think
there is only one way to do it,
digitalisation. You had to
digitalise the sport. What does that
mean? Digitalisation helps to
prevent diseases, prevent
corruption, prevent bureaucracy,
make it more transparent. Give
security because at the end of the
day, speaking about finances, boxing
is the most financially lucrative
sport in world, period. And just to
have athletes struggling when they
dedicate their life and being thrown
literally on the street because they
started 14 as I did and they retire
at 30, or 41 like myself. It was
very important to think about it and
that's what I want to talk about in
my study course. Today, we box.
Tomorrow we do maybe, I don't know,
we're politicians. Tomorrow, we
become lawyers or entrepreneurs, you
Let me just conclude by
asking you a little bit about your
home country, Ukraine. You've
mentioned that Vitaly is the mayor
of here, he is a full-time
politician. Is anything you could
do, is there any role that you could
play as the spokesman of your
country in calming the political
scene there? How do you feel about
the current situation in Ukraine?
Constitutionally, Ukraine remains
difficult, because we have a
geopolitical and economic crisis.
Even though we handle it, we are
optimists. I am sure that
eventually, peace will come to the
country. The question is, when is it
going to happen? Every day, there
are people getting killed.
east of the country.
So why are
you...? Because it's a circle of
light. We were talking about it in
the century before, Circle of life.
If we look in history, it's always
been like that and there will be
times for war and times for peace
and as soon as the weapons and the
ceasefire really will procure, the
economy will shoot like a rocket in
the sky. It's very sad to observe
and see that we have something
because Ukraine geopolitically and
geographically is in Europe, we have
a lot of challenges, we are young.
We have sort of democracy which
needs to be developed and done
better. We still had to fight
corruption. It is one of the
diseases, like cancer in the body,
it needs to be taken out. And you
know, one of the ways,
digitalisation, you can laugh about
it but look at this, Paradise
papers. Boom, some of your
countrymen are involved. That showed
up. Thanks to digitalisation. Things
are difficult. It's obvious, it's
more transparent and I think it's
one of the ways and I want to put an
accent on it one more time.
Klitschko, thank you so much for
joining us on Extra Time.