Joshua v Klitschko

Return to Wembley 

A conversation over dinner with Wladimir Klitschko led to a documentary being filmed just twelve days later.


conversation over dinner with Wladimir Klitschko led to a documentary being filmed just twelve days later. “Did you know it’s going to be one year since my fight with AJ on the 29th? What do you think about a documentary where the two of us get together back at Wembley Stadium and talk in depth about the fight and that famous night, with the end goal of raising some money for the Klitschko Foundation?” Wladimir said.

No sooner had we agreed on the concept, Wladimir called Anthony Joshua to sound him out about the project. AJ agreed sportingly agreed and the timings seemed to be perfect for all involved. The next few days were busy. Phone calls back and forth with agents, distributors, production teams and Wembley stadium. Before the end of the week there were several distributors interested in the documentary, broadcasters making formal bids and a production team who had worked on AJ’s previous documentaries on board to film and edit the show. Our hopes of erecting a boxing ring on the Wembley turf were dashed by the groundsmen who already faced a gruelling battle in keeping the grass fit for purpose under a gruelling end-of-season football schedule. We were however going to be allowed to film on the pitch and the staff at Wembley were doing their best to accommodate our every wish.

On the day of filming the crew were set up at 6.30am. AJ arrived shortly after and was taken to the dressing room for his solo interview. Wladimir left his hotel with a camera man filming and recording his thoughts on the way to the stadium. “It feels just like it did a year ago” Wladimir said. Arriving at Wembley the Champ walked through the tunnel onto pitch and took in the atmosphere of an empty Wembley stadium in glorious spring sunshine. Smiling, he looked around the stands and admitted “It’s good to be back”. Waiting patiently for AJ to finish filming his interview Wladimir congratulated the Opus team for making this happen at break neck speed. The production team was also amazed and delighted that the documentary had been scheduled to be broadcast by BBC1 on the 9th May. It would mean 13 days of continuous editing to get something ready but it proves what can be achieved when everyone is pulling in the same direction.

Eventually AJ walked out onto the pitch and was greeted with open arms by his old rival. The affection, respect and admiration for each other was all captured on camera and the two walked into the centre circle to re-live the fight. The photo opportunity to shoot the two champs on the centre circle was taken with the ‘Joshua Klitschko’ fight promotion displayed on the giant screen behind them. Standing on the spot where they fought for the heavyweight title of world, one year on, was a surreal experience. Wladimir never returned to the ring to take up the option of a re-match with AJ. This and many more questions were answered on the day and revelations of how they both approached the fight that many describe as the heavyweight fight of the century.

Before AJ left for an afternoon flight the two gladiators squared up one last time for a photograph upstairs in one of the spacious Wembley suites. A group photo before AJ had to leave was a fitting end to the days shooting with only a solo interview with Wladimir left to film. Sitting in on that interview was an eye opener. For ten years Wladimir Klitschko defended his belts successfully and many would describe his fighting condition when facing AJ to be the best it had ever been despite being in his forties. His reasoning for ending his record-breaking professional boxing career was discussed at length and all can be viewed as the out-going champ hands over the baton to the new kid on the block.

Joshua Klitschko Return to Wembley can be seen on BBC1, 9th May at 10.45pm.