BERLIN (Reuters) – Vladimir Klitschko intends to become the first undisputed world heavyweight champion in more than a decade after setting his sights on the WBC crown left vacant by his brother Vitaly.
Not since Briton Lennox Lewis in 2000 has one boxer held all the major belts with Ukraine’s Klitschko brothers opting not to fight each other.
“It is obviously my aim to bring the WBC title back into the Klitschko family,” Vladimir Klitschko, who holds the WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO titles, told Germany’s Bild newspaper.
Winning the only title missing from his collection would not only make him the undisputed champion but also silence the critics who for years have claimed the brothers’ handpicked opponents that were easy pickings.
On Monday Vitaly vacated his WBC belt to concentrate on politics, but was named champion emeritus, leaving the door open for the boxer turned politician to one day return to the ring.
He is unlikely to do so any time soon though as he joins thousands of protesters in weeks-long demonstrations against the government in Kiev.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Justin Palmer)