Bonte Talks About Wlad’s US Return, Possible Future Foes, Allmans

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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COMMENTS

-The Commish :

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 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.
As I was working and couldn't break away for the press conference, I followed the press conference on Twitter, in particular the tweets of our esteemed Editor, Michael Woods @Woodsy1069. He was tweeting faster than I could read them! Each and every person who came to the podium had his most important remarks tweeted out to the world by Woodsy. So, I was able to do my recording of interviews and spots from the studio and still feel as if I had been in the MSG press room myself. Woodsy will be a guest on SiriusXM's "Friday Night at the Fights" at 6:15pm (ET). Call in toll free at 1-866-522-2846 and tell the call screener you are from The Sweet Science. He will put you ahead of the other callers. Hope to hear from many of you. -Randy G.


-Bernie Campbell :

Enuf talk of Briggs as a secondary challanger to Wlad! Personally I think I would throw up if I saw another debacle of his! Are the target marketers betting on him being a good sell because he may be gifted with an oversized cranium,,,The educated Boxing fan does know! I think a fight with Mike Perez would be in order or even Travis Kauffman for Chrisakes rather than Briggs the actor!