By Mark Eisner: Vitali Klitschko reports that his brother former heavyweight unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko told him that he would consider making a comeback to boxing if he’s given a $100 million offer. The current rumored offer from DAZN is $80 million for the 42-year-old Wladimir (64-5, 53 KOs).
Klitschko hasn’t fought since his 11th round TKO loss to Anthony Joshua in April 2017 in London, England. Coming off of a two year layoff, Wladimir gave a good account of himself, knocking the unbeaten 6’5″ Joshua in the sixth round, and coming close to beating him. As such, for Wladimir to be getting offers to return to the ring at this point, it shows how few barren the heavyweight division is in terms of big names.
“When the news came that a TV channel had offered $40 million to make a comeback, I called him and asked what was going on. He [Wladimir] said, ‘This is an offer that does not really interest me.’ When, a few weeks later, I was talking about an 80 million offer, I called again and asked, ‘What is the situation now?” He said, ‘This is not an offer that changes my mind, maybe I’ll start thinking about it at 100 million,'” Vitali said to abendzeitung-muenchen.de.
Further, Vitali states that the money isn’t a motivational factor for Wladimir. To put it another way, he’s made enough money during his long career in boxing, and he couldn’t come back for that reason.
The question is, would DAZN be willing to pay Wladimir’s $100 million asking price? What if Wladmir keeps raising his price? At what point would DAZN say, ‘Forget it. He’s not worth it.’
It must be tempting for Wladimir to consider resuming his career with the money that is being offered to him for a short three-fight comeback. DAZN would likely want Wladimir to fight Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua in the three fights. It could hurt Wladimir’s legacy if he returned and lost to those fighters one after another. The boxing public wouldn’t take into account that Wladimir has fought only once in the last four years of his career since 2015. Many of the fans would see it as negative for Wladimir, and view him as never having been as good as people thought he was.
Vitali considers Wladimir as one of the greatest boxers of all time for what he accomplished during his 21-year pro career. Wladimir captured the IBF, WBA and wBO heavyweight titles. The only belt that eluded him during his career is the WBC title. The reason for that is Vitali held the the belt for six years off and on during his own career. This prevented Wladimir from going after the belt, since he wasn’t going to fight his own brother to try and capture it.
Whatever decision Wladimir makes, Vitali says, he’ll support it. “For me, he cannot win anything in a comeback,” Vitali said.