Every great boxer that made a comeback years after the peak of their career did so because they either needed the money or truly believed they still had enough left to be a success again.
Wladimir Klitschko falls into the latter. With an estimated wealth of over $60m, Wlad need never work again i he so chooses. But, because of his love of the sport and his competitive nature, he just can’t watch as the heavyweight division enjoys its best years since the days of Tyson, Holyfield, Bowe and Lennox Lewis, without getting his piece of the action.
If the news of Wlad’s comeback is true then he will add another dimension to the constant headlines regarding Joshua, Wilder and Fury. A title fight between Klitschko and Wilder would be a huge event. It is a fight that could elevate Wilder in the eyes of the fans or destroy his future earning potential and his legacy.
The Klitschko vs Joshua bout is still fresh enough in the minds of the fans to allow them to believe that even at the advanced age of 43 years, “Dr Steelhammer” could still beat any of the big three (soon to be big 4) on the night. He came within a breath of ending Joshua’s reign as heavyweight champion that April night at Wembley in 2017.
If the news being circulated by Ukrainian media outlet SportArena is true, then Klitschko could be the recipient of a $92m, 3 fight deal from DAZN USA. That amount of money must have played some part in his decision to return.
The plan is a May 25th comeback fight in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. This will be a massive event for Ukraine who have struggled with political and military upheaval in recent years. Brother and former WBC ruler Vitali just happens to be the current Mayor of Kiev. Wladimir suffered an 11th round stoppage loss in his last bout staged in Kiev, way back in 1998 to Ross Puritty so there will be some added pressure for the local hero.
No opponent has been mentioned yet and the terms of the 3 fight deal have not been made clear either, but I cannot imagine Klitschko wanting to face anyone outside the 15 in the world, his pride would not likely allow for that.
Will Wlad be able to compete with Fury, Wilder and Joshua? Well, it is well documented that he has never stopped training and sparring so, although there will be some rust to blow off, he is probably still capable of getting into the same condition he was in for Joshua. That Klitschko will test them all.