Wladimir Klitschko pretty easily retained his three world heavyweight title belts this past Saturday in Germany, and now the champ is looking to return to action in March or April 2015. Klitschko stopped Kubrat Pulev in five rounds on November 15.
Klitschko (63-3, 53 KO) has a couple of top candidates, according to manager Bernd Boente, including Bryant Jennings and the winner of a possible (eventual?) WBC title fight between titleholder Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder.
Of those candidates, Jennings would seem the more likely, as Stiverne and Wilder do not yet have a date, and that fight has dragged on not being made for months now. Wilder is the mandatory challenger.
One name not mentioned is Shannon Briggs, the 42-year-old former champ who has been hounding Klitschko for months, using social media to spread his message. Few seem to be taking the challenges seriously, as Briggs hasn't been a relevant contender in years, and the last time he was in a serious fight, he was battered by Vitali Klitschko for 12 rounds in 2010.
Briggs has won six fights this year on a smaller scale, fighting wherever and whenever he can, basically, and there is something admirable about the fact that he's actually out there fighting while angling for a fight with the champ, even if the opponents are substandard.
Jennings (19-0, 10 KO) is a 30-year-old contender from Philadelphia who made his HBO debut in January of this year, beating Artur Szpilka. He followed that up with a July win over Mike Perez. Since Jennings has already earned HBO approval, he may indeed be the frontrunner, as Klitschko just signed a new deal with HBO.