The biggest challenge facing Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko is actually outside of the ring. And that challenge is finding quality boxers to mix it up with who can actually help sell a fight, because once the two are in the ring, it’s usually no competition.
The last time one of the Klitschko brothers struggled was during Wladimir’s fight with Samuel Peter in September, 2005. Wladimir scored a unanimous-decision victory, but he hit the canvas three times in that fight. Viatli’s last tough fight was his loss to Lennox Lewis in 2003.
The latest wannabe is Britian’s Dereck Chisora. Chisora (15-2, 9 KOs) and WBC champion Vitali (43-2, 40 KOs) will square off on Saturday, February 18 from Olympiahalle in Munich, Germany.
Chisora is viewed by many as another sacrificial lamb, but Klitschko isn’t selling him short.
“[Please] don’t underestimate Chisora. He’s young, very aggressive; he’s very hungry and he wants to be World Champion very much,” said Klitschko. “I was very impressed when I saw his last fight against Robert Helenius.”
The judges didn’t share Klitschko’s opinion as Helenius won by split decision on December 3. Opinions among the press on the decision were mixed. But that didn’t stop Klitschko from trying to make the bout happen.
“After this fight, I called to my manager and told him I want to fight this guy,” said Klitschko. “This will be a very good challenge for me. This will be really interesting fight. Not just for audience; but for me, because I need a challenge.”
Will this fight be the end of the line for Klitschko, who turns 41 in July? Klitschko said he has a “dream” about how his career would end. He didn’t divulge it with reporters, but gave a brief and shallow outline of his immediate future.
Said Klitschko: “Its first fight in this year, but definitely it will depend of my condition, depend of health and actually, I can do one or two fights more, if everything goes smoothly.”
One of those two fights could be against David Haye, who was in contract discussions with Klitschko last fall. The world will have to wait for that, though.
“Right now, I’m totally focused on Dereck Chisora fight,” said Klitschko. “After the Dereck Chisora fight, I will give you the answer for your question [about Haye], but right now I’m not ready to talk about that.”
The Klitschko-Chisora fight will be the first of three championship heavyweight fights broadcast live on EPIX.
WBA champ Alexander Povetkin (23-0, 16 KOs) will face Marco Huck (34-1, 25 KOs) on February 25 from the Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart, Germany.
The following Saturday Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs) will defend his WBO, IBF and WBA super heavyweight championships against Jean Marc Mormeck from the ESPIRIT Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The fights will be broadcast live on the Jumbotron in Times Sqaure (Broadway, between 44th and 45th streets).