Monday, December 12, 2011
Vitali Klitschko to defend WBC belt
BERLIN -- Vitali Klitschko will defend his WBC heavyweight title against Britain's Dereck Chisora before turning his attention to a possible last bout against David Haye.
Klitschko's management group announced Monday that the 40-year-old Ukrainian will fight Chisora in Munich's Olympic Hall on Feb. 18. German daily Bild reported Klitschko would then fight Haye in Germany in July.
"(Haye) will lose through knockout," Klitschko told Bild, adding that he wants to fight at least two bouts in 2012, before letting fans make a decision on his retirement.
"I don't want to break the age record of George Foreman, who boxed until he was 45," he said.
The 31-year-old Haye announced his retirement in October, but may be tempted to reverse the decision after indicating he would like a shot at the older Klitschko brother.
For now, Klitschko is focusing his attention on Chisora, who lost to Finland's Robert Helenius in a split decision for the vacant European title on Dec. 3.
Chisora's controversial loss in Helsinki was the 27-year-old's second and he immediately demanded a rematch.
"It's not only in his last fight -- which he lost unfairly -- that Chisora showed he's up to bigger opponents," Klitschko said.
Chisora's record of 15 wins in 17 fights -- including nine knockouts -- pales in comparison to Klitschko's 40 knockouts in 43 wins and two losses, but the Ukrainian is not taking the Londoner lightly.
"I'm warned by his excellent performance against Helenius and will, as always, prepare myself intensely and meticulously," he said.
Chisora, a former Commonwealth and British champion, was due to fight Klitschko's younger brother Wladimir in December 2010, but the bout was called off when the Ukrainian sustained an abdominal injury.
Wladimir Klitschko, the WBO, IBF and WBA champion, was due to fight France's Jean-Marc Mormeck in Duesseldorf last Saturday, but that was called off after he needed two operations in two days to remove a kidney stone.
That fight has been rescheduled for March 3 in Duesseldorf.