A Wladimir Klitschko Comeback: Good Or Bad For Boxing?

01/14/2019 - By James Slater - Comments

Talk about a tough question. On the one hand, fight fans, and people in general, love a comeback; the more fairytale the better. Yet on the other hand, no-one likes to see a proud former champion embarrassed, beaten up and seriously hurt (at least no-one should like seeing such a thing). Which brings us to former world heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko – the man who ruled the division for over a decade.

There are ever-growing whispers that say the 42 year old will indeed launch a comeback this year, perhaps in the spring, perhaps against highly-ranked contender Dillian Whyte. It’s a puzzler why Klitschko – last seen being beaten in a great up-and-down thriller with Anthony Joshua – would return to fight Whyte. Not too long ago, “Dr. Steel Hammer” said that, in order for him to come back, it would have to be “something historic,” a chance to break George Foreman’s record as the oldest-ever heavyweight champ, for example.

A win over Whyte would almost certainly lead to a title shot for Wlad, probably against AJ in a return, but what if Klitschko lost to Whyte? What then? Is it really worth the risk, to both his legacy and his long-term health?
Let’s look at the good first: If Klitschko did return, looked great in dismantling Whyte and then got a title shot, either against Joshua or someone else (Tyson Fury in another rematch perhaps, after Fury has beaten Deontay Wilder in yet another rematch, should Fury be able to do so?) – and managed to roll back the years again and regain the crown, well, what a great story it really would be. And how much ink and attention would the sport get as a result!

But what about the bad: Klitschko returns but looks shaky from the get-go and, a badly faded fighter, he gets hammered by Whyte, his former sparring partner (sound familiar? Ali-Holmes may spring to mind). This would result in another black eye for the sport.

Again, is it worth the risk? Is rolling the dice a good idea from Wladimir? Would you like to see him try, or should the former champ with nothing to prove (and no money worries) stay where he is, retired?

We should know soon enough what Wladimir has decided to do, if anything.