Klitschko wants WBC belt back in the family

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Wladimir_Klitschko AFP Ukrainian heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Picture: Daniel Roland

Paris – Undisputed world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has vowed to win the WBC belt for the family after elder brother Vitali relinquished it on Monday.

“Of course, it is my goal to bring the WBC title back into the Klitschko family,” the 37-year-old Wladimir, the current WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion, told German daily Bild.

Should Wladimir Klitschko win the WBC belt, it would make him the first fighter to hold all the major world heavyweight titles since Britain's Lennox Lewis in 1999.

With the WBC title now vacant, mandatory challenger Canada's Bermane Stiverne could now face US fighters Chris Arreola or Deontay Wilder for the belt and Wladimir Klitschko would be a future opponent.

On Monday, Vitali Klitschko gave up the WBC heavyweight belt, which he won in September 2008 and defended nine times, so he can focus on his political career in Ukraine.

The World Boxing Council had given Vitali the opportunity of returning to the ring by making him their Champion Emeritus.

However, the Ukrainian has all but ruled out that option as he intends to play a leading role in trying to oust present Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych in next year's presidential election.

“My brother will take care of any further sporting success,” said Vitali Klitschko.

“The offer of the WBC gives me the theoretical possibility to return to the boxing ring which I cannot imagine at all in the current state.”

Vitali Klitschko's last bout was a technical knock-out against Manuel Charr in Moscow in September 2012 and his achievement of being a world champion three times is a feat matched only by the greats Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. – Sapa-AFP

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