Former world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko is blaming himself for the April TKO loss that was suffered by his younger brother, Wladimir Klitschko, at the hands of Anthony Joshua.
Before a crowd of 90,000 fans at Wembley, Joshua stopped Wladimir in the eleventh round to unify the WBA, IBO, IBF heavyweight titles.
After struggling in the early rounds and going down early in the fifth, Wladimir rallied in the second half of the fifth round, and then badly hurt and dropped Joshua in the sixth.
Vitali was working Wladimir's corner in that fight, and believes he gave his brother the wrong advice.
After Wladimir dropped Joshua in the sixth and had him all over the place, he never jumped on the British fighter for the rest of the contest - which allowed Joshua to eventually recover to drop Wladimir twice in the eleventh and force a stoppage.
Vitali says that he advised Wladimir to take his time, because he expected Joshua to become fully gassed out in the second half, but that didn't happen.
"Immediately after the fight, we were barely speaking . 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," Vitali said.
"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. 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."
There is a rematch clause, and the second fight is targeted for the fall. Wladimir is planning to make a decision on the rematch within two weeks. Vitali will support his decision either way.
"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," Vitali said.