Wladimir Klitschko will soon have the opportunity to take back the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles he lost in stunning fashion to Tyson Fury after confirming he will exercise his contractual right to an immediate rematch.
The ex-champion had only suffered three previous professional defeats before being bested via a unanimous decision in Dusseldorf and many speculated he could be pushed towards retirement, with his 11-year winning streak finally at end.
British duo David Haye and Anthony Joshua were among the fighters touted as potential future opponents for the newly crowned Fury, with WBC champion Deontay Wilder also not shy in stating his claim for a unification bout. And while there would no doubt be plenty of interest in such a meeting, it appears the Bronze Bomber will have to wait as Klitschko strives to regain his belts.
"I have a pre-Christmas gift for Tyson Fury and all boxing fans around the world," the Ukrainian said in a short video released via his personal Instagram account. "I'll be making use of my contractual option for a rematch against Fury. So to say, the fight of 2016 is in the making."
Klitschko stopped short of speculating on any specific dates or venues for the rematch, although Fury is likely to feel his recent performance was strong enough to ensure he does not have to return to his opponent's stronghold in Germany. Croke Park in Dublin and Manchester United's Old Trafford are two stadiums that he claims he would like to box in, with Madison Square Garden –the venue for his 2013 knockout of American Steve Cunningham – also listed as a favourite spot.
Wembley may also be strongly considered. Fury's promoter Mick Hennessy admitted earlier this week: He said: "Wembley Stadium would be very appealing at the right time of year, definitely. It was close to 55,000 in Düsseldorf. It would easily do 80,000 at Wembley. But it would have to be at the end of the football season."