Tom Loeffler has talked up the chances of Wladimir Klitschko making a comeback at the age of 44, and says he would love to see a rematch with Tyson Fury and a potentially explosive showdown with Deontay Wilder.
‘Dr Steelhammer’ had a long and illustrious reign as world heavyweight champion before retiring in 2017 on the back of that epic showdown with Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium.
But his former promoter Loeffler believes there is still a chance that the Ukrainian superstar comes back in bid to beat George Foreman’s record of being the oldest ever world heavyweight champion. Foreman was 45 when he stunned Michael Moorer with a 10th-round KO in Las Vegas in 1994 to become the champion for a second time.
“If there’s anyone who can do it and still compete at the world championship level, it would be Wladimir,” Loeffler told The Ring.
“I would love to see him come back, but ultimately that’s a decision that he will have to make. I’m not making a prediction but I wouldn’t be surprised if Wladimir comes back and beats George Foreman’s record.”
As well as that loss to Joshua, Klitschko also has history with the other British heavyweight champion Fury – having lost his titles to ‘The Gypsy King’ on points in Dusseldorf back in November 2015. Another potential opponent is former WBC king Deontay Wilder – and that is a fight Loeffler himself would love to see.
He went on: “I would love to see him come back, I think he kind of toys with it because he stays in shape. Johnathon Banks (Klitschko’s former trainer) would love to see him fight again. He can’t beat all these heavyweights. He was very close to beating Joshua, he had him down. I would love the fight with Deontay Wilder, it’s a little bit less of where it would have been before when Deontay was a champion.
“I know he would love to fight a rematch with Fury. I always thought the fight with Deontay would be great because don’t forget Deontay was in camp with Wladimir, they trained together. AJ was in camp with Wladimir, they trained together and sparred together. With Deontay being such a big puncher and Wladimir being a big puncher, I thought the styles would match.”
Loeffler says Klitschko’s physical condition would not be a concern if Wladimir did decide to make a ring return, saying the former champion is just as dedicated to staying in shape now as he was when he was fighting.
“Wladimir stays in tremendous condition for not being an active professional athlete. He’s always training, he’s always working on his cardio, and his body shape almost looks identical to when he was defending his titles.”
With Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr set to fight an exhibition in Los Angeles on September 12, and Evander Holyfield also talking about a potential comeback, legendary heavyweights talking about making shock comebacks is en vogue right now.
But Loeffler cautioned: “I don’t see any of the older boxers being able to compete at the level where Wladimir would be able to.”
Klitschko actually got the stage of discussing a potential return with fledgling streaming platform DAZN in 2019, with a three-fight pact reportedly on the table. Rematches against Fury and Joshua were part of those talks.