IT should come as no surprise to anyone, but Wladimir Klitschko, the former world heavyweight champion, has today revealed he WON’T be returning to a boxing ring in 2019.
The 42-year-old Ukrainian had been linked to an unlikely comeback at the back end of last week, following comments made by journalist Steve Bunce on his BBC Radio Five Live boxing podcast. However, while it had been suggested Klitschko quite fancied the idea of a return to Wembley Stadium in April, for the purpose of a fight against Britain’s Dillian Whyte, such talk has now thankfully been shot down by the man himself.
He tweeted: “I’m all about challenges in life and I do really feel that I still got it. Recently many of you contacted me willing to see me making a comeback to the ring this April and I’m thankful to you all for that.
“However, I need to call such speculation an early April Fool’s Day joke.”
Klitschko, the premier heavyweight in the world for almost a decade, was last seen producing a fine effort, albeit a losing one, against current WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua in April 2017. Though a loss, the manner of the defeat covered the Ukrainian in glory and seemed, in the cold light of day, the perfect note on which to exit the sport.
Klitschko, you sense, realises this as well.
The mission to find an opponent for Kell Brook not called Amir Khan continues and now, following reports linking Brook with Jeff Horn, we have a new name in the frame: former WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas.
The 29-year-old Las Vegas native shares a promoter (Eddie Hearn) with Brook, which would suggest the fight shouldn’t be too difficult to make, and is presumably desperate to get back on track having drawn both of his fights in 2018 (the first against Adrien Broner, the second against Thomas Dulorme). In Brook, Vargas sees the perfect opponent to kickstart another run at a version of a world title.
“It is a fight that’s being negotiated now,” he told ES News. “Honestly, I’m coming back in 2019 like never before, I’m training properly, and I have the right team behind me.
“I believe the fans are really going to be surprised with what they see on April 6. That’s the date we’re talking about fighting.”
With Khan now confirmed to be facing Terence Crawford on April 20, Kell Brook needs to get a move on. Based on recent rumours, and talk of an April 6 date, he seems to realise this, too.