WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO was an incredibly dominant world heavyweight champion, reigning for almost a decade, but never the most exciting of champions.
Similarly, rumours of a potential Klitschko comeback, while intriguing at first, are quickly starting to become a little wearisome.
The Ukrainian, 43 years of age now, has been linked with a comeback to the ring since the start of the year, if not longer, and reports of a deal with DAZN never seem far away. There has been talk of big numbers put up, as well as a potential fight against Dillian Whyte, the Brit with whom he shares one thing in common – they have both been stopped by Anthony Joshua.
So far, though, in terms of serious action, all we have seen are a couple of denials from Klitschko, in addition to a bizarre April Fool’s Day story that did the rounds in the Ukrainian media.
But still it won’t get away. It’s May 3 now, and Klitschko is still apparently on his way back, this time thanks to a £76 million offer from DAZN.
“I think he is looking at it,” Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn told iFL TV. “Nothing is happening at the moment.
“DAZN have spoken to him. We’d love him back. I love Klitschko.
“I think he is great, but we will see.”
Last week, Klitschko spoke of his “obsession to become a champion again” and, despite the protracted nature of this story, there is definitely smoke. Something seems to be brewing and Klitschko, arguably the most intelligent heavyweight champion of the modern era, can likely see the potential – financially speaking – in a wide-open and shallow heavyweight division. Let’s wait and see. Let’s continue to wait and see. (And let’s hope we find out one way or another fairly soon.)
For as long as Amir Khan remains Amir Khan, which is to say, a well-known name in world boxing, one senses Amir Khan will continue fighting and continue putting himself in potentially hazardous fights.
Last month, Khan, 33-5 (20), suffered the fifth defeat of his pro career when retiring midway through round six of a fight against Terence Crawford. He was caught by a low blow, ignored the option of a five-minute time-out, and instead signalled enough was enough. Seemingly, based on how the first five rounds had gone, he saved himself from an inevitable and more punishing form of defeat. Crucially, he saved himself for another day.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Khan has expressed his intention to carry on boxing and carry on looking to land the biggest fights in thee welterweight division. “Retirement never really crossed my mind,” Khan said to The National. “In the fight I was still there. He was technically a very good fighter and I did find it quite hard to get to him.
“But I still feel I’m better than the guys like Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson, Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao. Those fights could be big still.
“I still have it in me. I still love the sport and I still work hard. I still feel like I’m up there. Mentally I’m quite strong and I know I’ll always come back from defeats. I’ve been knocked out, come back and become world champion again. I’m sure I can do it again.”
There is certainly a boyish enthusiasm to Khan. It was detectable before the Crawford loss and has been throughout his 14-year professional career. However, because we know cash rules everything in boxing, you do start to wonder if Khan is merely convincing himself he is fresh and happy and performing at his best in order to justify chasing fights, lucrative ones, most believe he has only a slim shot of winning.
“I’m still enjoying it, I’m still like a kid in a sweetie shop when I’m in the gym,” said Khan, who hopes to box again in the autumn. “I always said I want to leave the sport the way I walked in. I don’t want to stay in the game for too long. I want to enjoy my youth with my family.
“I’m only 32, although this is the last chapter of my career. I want to fight maybe one or two more times and then maybe call it a day. It just depends what’s out there for me.”
One thing’s for certain: Amir Khan, one of Britain’s most exciting fighters in recent memory, has money still to make but nothing left to prove.