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Take it with a fistful of salt, but there are rumours Wladimir Klitschko, the former heavyweight champion of the world, could be set for a return to the ring in 2019 and that Dillian Whyte, of all people, could be in line to welcome him back.
That’s the word on the street according to journalist Steve Bunce, who used his BBC 5 Live boxing podcast to tease a Klitschko return and suggested it could happen as early as April 13.
Should that be the case, it would represent the end of a two-year retirement and mark the 42-year-old’s first fight since a gallant losing effort against Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium in 2017.
“I’m hearing all sorts of stuff about a fight that might be… can I drop it?” Bunce said.
“Wladimir Klitschko’s coming back, he’s going to fight again and I’m hearing him linked with a big British heavyweight.
“It’s not (Tyson) Fury and it’s not (Anthony) Joshua, and I’m hearing that could be the fight that we see there (April 13 at Wembley).”
Download the Costello and Bunce 2019 preview Podcast @BBCSounds 👇
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— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) January 10, 2019
While Buncey is rarely wrong, it’s worth remembering Lennox Lewis has been rumoured to be returning to the ring at least once a year for pretty much every year that has passed since his 2003 war – and final fight – against Vitali Klitschko in Los Angeles. It’s almost the done thing, especially at heavyweight. For some reason, we find it incredibly difficult to wave goodbye to our heavyweight champions, and often they find it just as hard to stay away.
Watch this space.
The last time Gennady Golovkin and Billy Joe Saunders were rumoured to be in talks about a potential middleweight fight they were both in possession of world titles.
Now, however, the landscape has changed and neither man can call themselves a world champion. Saunders, 27-0 (13), lost his WBO title following some confusion over a failed drug test in the final quarter of 2018, while Golovkin, 38-1-1 (34), lost his WBA and WBC belts in a controversial defeat to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in September.
This turn of events left both empty-handed. It left them in the cold. But what it hasn’t done is cooled their desire to one day share a ring.
“We signed for the fight twice, they sent contracts and we signed them and sent them back,” Saunders’ promoter, Frank Warren, told the Pound for Pound podcast.
“Will they want that fight with no titles on the line? Maybe money will talk. In fact, my son spoke to Tom Loeffler (Golovkin’s promoter) today, so we’re exploring that. We want to make the fight. It would be a fantastic fight.
“He’ll never fight Canelo – they don’t want that job, not after Billy did a job on David Lemieux.”
In his last fight, a December run-out against Charles Adamu, Saunders weighed in as a light-heavyweight – some 18 pounds heavier than the weight at which he would have once defended his WBO middleweight title. So, whether it’s Golovkin or someone else, Saunders needs to get back in shape and back on track – fast.