Wilder: Klitschko Won’t Want to Fight Me
The former king of heavyweight boxing, Wladimir Klitschko, has reportedly been thinking of a comeback this year; but if one were to happen, WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder feels Klitschko wouldn’t pick him as an opponent.
A report surfaced on April 1 that Klitschko had agreed to a three-fight deal with DAZN worth more than $100 million, one that would have also seen an eventual rematch with current WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO champion Anthony Joshua. That turned out to be an April Fools’ prank, but the possibility of a return to the ring from “Dr. Steelhammer” is still there.
The younger Klitschko brother hasn’t competed since that original heavyweight championship bout with Joshua at Wembley Stadium in April 2017, a bout that saw Joshua storm back to score an 11th-round TKO to claim the vacant WBA and IBO titles, as well as retain his IBF championship.
Prior to this loss, and a November 2015 loss to Tyson Fury, Klitschko and his brother, Vitali, dominated boxing’s heavyweight division. Klitschko won the IBF and IBO titles in 2006, the WBO title in 2008 and the WBA title in 2011, dropping none of the belts until losing to Fury. The only portion of the heavyweight crown he never held was the WBC title — which Wilder currently holds — as Vitali held that title between 2004 until his brief retirement the next year, and then again from 2008 until his permanent retirement at the end of 2013.
Wilder, who served as a training partner to Klitschko, wouldn’t mind seeing him return to the ring, but he doesn’t see him “looking at the path of coming down Deontay Wilder’s way.”
“We’ll still have to see what he does,” Wilder said. “Let him get back in there and build him up. Look, Klitschko, when he fought Joshua he was out for what, two years? And he came back and lost and stuff, so he’s gotta build himself back up. He can only live off his name for so long. You get to the point where you’re that fighter that used to be where you was – I can’t say used to be somebody, because he’s still somebody. He’s still Klitschko. He’s done amazing things in his career and you can’t take that back. Even when I went to camp with him, I learned a lot of things from him. So, you can never take that from him.
“But, you know, the fighting scene, when he comes back, he’s gotta build himself back up – especially with someone like me, I’m coming in for the kill. I ain’t playing around with nobody. I don’t think he’ll want that fight, to be honest, in my opinion. Klitschko had many times to challenge me. Every time he comes back, ain’t nobody mentioning Deontay Wilder’s name because they know that this is a tough fight. I put everybody in the position where they’ll train the best they’ve ever trained.”
Wilder makes his next defense of the WBC Title on May 18 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, taking on mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale. Joshua, meanwhile, defends his unified title two weeks later on June 1 against Jarrell Miller at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Original Story: Boxing Scene