Bernd Bonte, who heads up Klitschko Managment Group, talked to TSS today in NYC, about why Wlad is back in the USA after seven years of fighting away from America, and offered some hints about the near-term path for the 6-6 Ukrainian-born hitter who is second only to soccer among German sports fans.
I told Bonte that we are happy to see Wlad fight here—yep, I like him as a good rep for the sport and respect his in-ring talent–and he said that the reason why is that “we have the right opponent from the US, in Bryant Jennings.” HBO and German broadcaster RTL accepted BYJ as a foe, and so it makes sense to have Wlad (seen above left, with Jennings, right, in Michael Hirschbein photo) show a different segment of the world what he brings to the table. (Wlad talked a few times about the power and status of NYC, and how meaningful it is do to business here.) Jennings has long arms, is a good “all over perfect athlete,” Bonte stated.
We touched on Wlad’s new status as a dad, as his baby Kaya was born in December. Has that changed him? Bonte said that Vitali has three kids, and V told Wlad that he hit harder after having a child. V has been his idol, so hopefully the same will go for him, is what Wlad said.
Bonte said that Wlad is clicking–indeed, he looked sharp and nasty against Kubrat Pulev in November– and smartly working the Steward plan, with trainer Jonathan Banks. Wlad will train in Fla., for camp, from day one onward, the exec said. He has a condo there, so 8-9 weeks will be spent in Florida.
I asked Bonte about the other K2 stud, Gennady Golovkin. He said unification is the word, but he’s “too good,” and people avoid him. He hopes both in the heavyweight and middleweight division, people will step up.
No one is looking past Jennings, of course, but we do wonder if he wins, what Wlad does next. At this moment, Bonte said, Shannon Briggs would not be next. Tyson Fury, that’s more likely, and then Deontay Wilder, said the dealmaker from Germany, who by the way told me is a huge Allman Brother fan.
Bonte said he heard from Al Haymon, advisor to The Bronze Bomber, ; that Deontay Wilder would be into a Wlad fight, for the end of the year, or maybe early next year.
Bonte also cracked me up and said he’s “too old for that” when I asked him if he’s on Twitter. He said he respects the power and potential of getting too into Twitter. He also likes his hobbies, which include collecting records. His latest snag, an original of “Morrison Hotel,” the fourth Doors record. He has about 3,500 records, digs Springsteen, and has seen Bruce about ten times. Boente was in the city for the Allmans recent run at the Beacon Theatre, and showed me a pic of him and Gregg Allman. Be honest, it was nice to hear of this side from a fella who I’d never interacted with on that level.
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