Friday, June 02, 2023  |



Wladimir Klitschko responds to calls for P4P coronation

Fighters Network
Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

With Floyd Mayweather possibly gone from the sport of boxing, a select few have been put forward as the heir to the pound-for-pound throne. Amongst those names is the man who rules the heavyweight kingdom, Wladimir Klitschko.

Since his 2004 loss to Lamon Brewster, Klitschko has run roughshod over the sport with 22 straight victories and not a single opponent coming close to dethroning the heavyweight king of boxing. His decade-plus of dominance is impressive, but is it enough to prove that he is now the king of the mountain?

Unlike the fighter who refers to himself as “TBE,” Klitschko could care less about ranking himself amongst the current landscape of boxing.

“I will never say that (I’m the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter),” Klitschko said on today’s conference call in advance to his Oct. 24 heavyweight showdown with Tyson Fury. “I don’t want to compare myself with other guys. Some guys do some things better than me. You know, I’ve been a champ for a few years.”

Modesty is a reflex for Dr. Steelhammer. Despite the manner that he has dispatched his opposition with barely an opponent laying a leather glove on him, Klitschko refuses to pat his own back and suggest that he should be recognized as the top fighter in the sport.

“Only the people can call you the king, not the person,” Klitschko said while perhaps subconsciously taking a swipe at Mayweather. But there’s only one person who Klitschko believes can call himself the best. “Unless you are Muhammad Ali because he’s the ultimate exception. Would I be pleased to be called the top pound-for-pound fighter? I guess so. You guys decide who will be No. 1.”

When it comes to Floyd Mayweather, Klitschko expressed that he has nothing but respect for the unbeaten fighter and suggests that his outside of the ring indiscretions have influenced how his accomplishments are viewed inside the squared circle.

“People criticize Mayweather for different things but I admire him,” Klitschko said. “It’s not easy to be undefeated, trust me. But I don’t worry myself with being No. 1 pound for pound.”

Ultimately, Klitschko doesn’t necessarily see “TBE” riding off into the sunset with the odd number of 49 wins in the victory column.

“I don’t think he’ll retire because he has his chance to be 50-0,” Klitschko said. “Sometimes I start getting nervous after seeing the US Open with Serena Williams losing to an unranked opponent because there’s a lot of pressure. I kind of understand how he feels but I still believe he won’t retire. He’ll have at least one more fight.”