By Tomi Pradarics
Though former two-time world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko called the words regarding his potential ring return against top-rated contender Dillian Whyte ‘fake news’, followers of the boxing world are still interested and wondering how an eventual comeback of the 42-year-old Ukrainian would look like.
Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs) announced his retirement from pugilism in August 2017, months after his championship encounter against the current unified heavyweight ruler, Anthony Joshua. The parties had a brutal war in front of a sold-out Wembley Stadium in London, England that saw both men on the floor in a battle filled with drama and excitement. In the end, Joshua’s hands got raised after dropping Klitschko twice in the eleventh round and thus convincing the referee to step in and stop the carnage.
Though Klitschko dismissed the gossip regarding a bout against Whyte, words from influential journalist and senior writer of ringtv.com, Mike Coppinger suggests Klitschko indeed had negotiations with DAZN, an online sports streaming service that entered the boxing business last year, about a three-fight deal that would include blockbuster rematches with unbeaten stars Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) and Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs).
The whispers about Klitschko’s potential comeback ultimately enticed the normally short-spoken promoter, Alexander Krassyuk to dig deep and share his thoughts on the matter.
The Ukrainian businessman, who is the General Director of the Klitschko brothers’ promotional company, K2 Promotions in Ukraine thinks “we have a chance to see” the return of Wladimir as an active professional fighter and, moreover, believes the blueprint to a successful comeback had been already implemented for Wladimir by none other than a very close family member of the future Hall of Famer.
“There is an example in front of us represented by another Klitschko in Wladimir’s older brother, Vitali, who chose to come back following a four-year absence and was quite successful. He regained his throne and left the sport while still on top,” discussed Krassyuk about the older Klitschko, who broke his retirement to win his previously owned WBC world title with a stellar performance in the form of an eighth-round stoppage victory against Nigerian Samuel Peter in 2008.
“I think Wladimir can do the same. He is in great shape; his mind is bright. He is training every day. It is not difficult for him to return to the sport.”
Krassyuk also thinks a potential comeback would make a good impact on the heavyweight division that he sees as a much more explosive weight class than it has been for a long time.
“Look, I would be happy to see Wladimir announce his return to the sport. I think that would be such a major happening in boxing. He is a legend with a vibrant personality, with such magnitude. And the heavyweight division is now a different weight class compared to its value 3 or 4 years ago. Today, there is excitement and intrigue in the division. Fights with such excitement involved always raise the bar to a whole new level in boxing.”
You can reach Tomi Pradarics at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.