V. Klitschko decision put off again
November, 7, 2013
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Sergei ChuzavkovThe wait continues for a decision on what Vitali Klitschko's near future holds: pugilism or politics.
The mystery of what heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko will do next will go on for a little while longer.
Klitschko is running for president of Ukraine in 2015, but he also has an overdue mandatory defense to make against Bermane Stiverne. The purse bid for the fight was put off multiple times and then called off altogether when Klitschko said he had a hand injury and would be out for the rest of 2013. Then Klitschko recently announced that he would run for the presidency of his country.
The situation was supposed to be addressed on Wednesday during the mandatory meetings at the annual WBC convention in Bangkok, Thailand. However, Stiverne and promoter Camille Estephan were traveling and did not arrive at the convention until Thursday -- the closing day -- and the issue was put off yet again.
Tom Loeffler, managing director of Klitschko's K2 Promotion, said that Klitschko requested that the issue be put off until Nov. 30, when he will apparently announce his plans for the mandatory defense. The 42-year-old Klitschko (45-2, 41 KOs), who hasn't fought since a fourth-round knockout of Manuel Charr in September 2012, could also retire. Stiverne and Estephan accepted Klitschko's request.
"We are willing to wait to make this fight happen, and we are looking forward to making this fight happen," Estephan said.
Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs), who is 35, became Klitschko's mandatory challenger via lopsided 12-round unanimous decision against Cristobal Arreola on April 27.