Pre-fight mind games can often look very, very silly when all is said and done.
Wladimir Klitschko has never been one to engage in psychological warfare prior to his contests but, having been out of the game for 18 months, perhaps he felt he needed an added edge in that department before his Wembley showdown with Anthony Joshua.
In case you hadn’t already heard, Klitschko came out second best in one of the greatest heavyweight fights in decades on Saturday night as Anthony Joshua displayed some previously unseen heart to recover from a mid-bout knockdown and claim a thrilling late stoppage over ‘Dr. Steelhammer’.
But two days before sharing the ring with ‘AJ’, Klitschko made a remarkable revelation about a USB key that he produced at a pre-fight press conference in London.
When asked to predict how his meeting with Joshua would play out, Klitschko announced that he had committed his prediction to a memory stick which – wait for it – would be stored in his fight robe and auctioned off after the bout.
A few things went through our minds once Joshua put Klitschko away in stunning fashion in the eleventh round.
One was feeling fortunate for having had the opportunity to watch a true classic live. Another was the sensation of being impressed with the heart and determination of the next big thing at heavyweight.
However the overriding sentiment was wondering if Klitschko really did have “I will lose by 11th round TKO!” stored on his USB stick.
And, wouldn’t you know… we weren’t the only ones thinking it.
If Klitschko had all that on the USB he's an even bigger Legend in my book! #JoshuaKlitchsko
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) April 29, 2017
Waiting to see what it says on @Klitschko usb how many RT's for me to bid for it 😗
— Yannick Bolasie (@YannickBolasie) April 29, 2017
Anyone keen to chip in for that USB 👀 #JoshuaKlitchsko
— Mike Brown (@mikebrown_15) April 29, 2017
— Julian Sheldon (@juliansheldon) April 29, 2017
— Tony Waite (@Waitey1974) April 29, 2017
— Pogboom (@pog_boom1993) April 29, 2017
I wonder if Klitschko's USB contained the prediction he would get smashed up in the 11th?
— Paulo Di CanRio (@RioHoye) April 29, 2017
— Dean Tolhurst (@alloDean) April 29, 2017
Wouldn't mind seeing what's on klitschkos USB stick.. if he had all that on then the mans mystic meg in disguise #JoshuavKlitschko
— Joe Loughran (@jlocky90) April 29, 2017
— T Bag (@T_Bag25) April 29, 2017
So, Wladimir, about this USB stick prediction…
— Marco Giannini (@mrmarcogiannini) April 29, 2017
What's up with that USB stick Klitschko?
— @dami_configg 💭 (@Dami_configg) April 29, 2017