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V. Klitschko brings calm to riots

12/3/2013
Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images

No wonder 42-year-old heavyweight titlist Vitali Klitschko is taking his time deciding whether he will continue to fight, even though he has not boxed since September 2012, had a recent hand injury and also has a long overdue mandatory defense to make against Bermane Stiverne.

Clearly, Klitschko -- leader of the UDAR political party in Ukraine, member of parliament and 2015 presidential candidate -- has more important things than boxing going on his life.

I was flipping around the TV channels on Monday night and stopped on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" and caught her segment on Klitschko, which had nothing to do with his boxing career and everything to do with his political career. Klitschko was front and center in helping defuse a potentially violent riot on Sunday night in Kiev, the nation's capital, where thousands of anti-government protesters calling for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovich clashed with police over the course of a few hours.

Maddow showed a video at the height of the situation in which Klitschko moved to the center of the confrontation, grabbed a bullhorn and began shouting for calm from both sides.

All Klitschko needed was an "S" emblazoned on his chest.

"I am telling you, get back. You have no business here. Don't fall into a trap," Klitschko yelled to the crowd (in translated comments), as he was lifted by supporters above the crowd.

Eventually, calm prevailed.

The more I see of Klitschko's deep involvement in politics, the less inclined I am to think he will ever fight again -- at least in the ring, because fighting off riots is still fighting and looks like hard work.

Klitschko's deadline to decide on making his mandatory defense has been delayed multiple times with the WBC again extending the date a few days ago, this time from Nov. 30 to Dec. 15.