Vitali Klitschko gave his brother a piece of 'wrong advice' during Joshua fight

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Wladimir Klitschko may have lost the brutal world heavyweight title fight against Anthony Joshua back in April, but he still emerged with a tremendous amount of credit.

The Ukranian showed incredible spirit to survive Joshua's deadly attacks and at one point even looked like he was on the verge of winning after knocking the Brit down in the sixth round.

But Joshua recovered and eventually ended Klitschko's challenge in the 11th round.

After such a truly epic encounter, it is little wonder there have been so many calls for a rematch to take place later this year.

Should they go toe-to-toe again, it is unlikely Klitschko will make the same mistake that cost him so dearly in the first fight.

Taking his foot off the gas after knocking Joshua down proved to be the beginning of his own downfall. Although it has now emerged the 41-year-old was simply following orders.

His brother Vitali, also a former world heavyweight champion, was in Wladimir's corner for the bout and has revealed he actually blames himself for his sibling's defeat.

Vitali admitted he advised his brother 'not to rush anything' after the sixth round knockdown and the pair hardly spoke in the immediate aftermath of the fight.

Boxing at Wembley Stadium

"Immediately after the fight, we were barely speaking," Vitali said, as per Boxing Scene.

"We do not need to talk, it was just enough to look into each other's eyes. Only in the locker room, I thanked him for one of the best fights of his career.

"I know how important this fight was for him, and unfortunately we saw what happened. In the heavyweight division, each punch can be decisive.

"I blame myself for the defeat of my brother, I share some of the blame. When Wladimir almost knocked Joshua out, I gave him the wrong advice.

Boxing at Wembley Stadium

"I was positive that Joshua, with his huge muscle mass, would not be able to last [the distance]. I advised Wladimir not to rush anything. I had hoped that after the seventh, the eighth round... Joshua would really slow down. Now I think that maybe it was a mistake, maybe it was necessary to finish him off sooner."

A giant step towards a rematch was made earlier this week when Joshua was granted an exception by the IBF to take on Wladimir again, providing they fight before December 2.

There had been rumours Klitschko was considering retirement after the Wembley defeat but appeared to hint he would continue if a rematch could be agreed in a statement made last week.

Boxing at Wembley Stadium

Nevertheless, Vitali will continue to support his younger brother regardless of what decision he makes.

He added: "To be honest, Wladimir has nothing more to prove. I do not know any other boxers who have gathered as many titles and defended them all, dominating for more than ten years. He has nothing to prove, but whatever decision he makes - I will support him."

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Vitali Klitschko
Wladamir Klitschko
David Haye
Floyd Mayweather

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