Klitschko teases return to boxing after Ukrainian war ends

Dylan Bettencourt

Former heavyweight champion and current Ukrainian soldier Wladimir Klitschko has hinted he could return to the ring once the threat of the Russia invasion of Ukraine comes to an end.

The 46-year-old hung up his gloves in 2017 after being world champion for 11 years, losing his final fight to Anthony Joshua in a bout at Wembley earlier the same year.

The Ukrainian joined the Kyiv Territorial Defence in an attempt to defend his country against the Russian invasion in February.

However, after watching Tyson Fury beat Dillian Whyte on Saturday night, Klitschko said he may make a comeback to the sport.

“I learned that despite the war, you shouldn’t forget life. Sport is part of my life. I’m delighted that Tyson Fury won,” he told BILD.

“Who knows, I don’t want to promise anything big here, but if I’m in good shape and, above all, that the war in Ukraine will soon come to an end, and that our borders exist without any invasion coming from Russia, then in the end who knows?”

Klitschko added that the chance to surpass George Foreman’s record of being the oldest heavyweight champion is something that is tempting his return.

“That motivates me to get up every day and do sports. Everyone has their own motivation,” he said.

Foreman reclaimed his world champion status in November 1994, at the age of 45.

Klitschko held the belts for over a decade before Fury took them off him in one of the greatest shocks in all of sport in 2015.

Fury defeated Klitschko by a unanimous decision in Germany. The rematch failed to materialise as the new champion struggled with mental health problems.

Klitschko will still be unlikely to get that rematch as Fury announced his retirement on Saturday, saying that he has achieved all his goals in the sport.

“This might be the final curtain for the Gypsy King. What a way to go out… I’ve fulfilled everything I’ve wanted to achieve,” Fury said.

“I’m going to retire as only the second heavyweight champion after Rocky Marciano to retire undefeated.”

Image source: @APNews