By Johnny Walker
WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has cut short his training camp for a September 10 heavyweight championship bout in Poland with Tomasz Adamek to return to his homeland of Ukraine.
Klitschko returned home from his camp in Austria because of concerns over the fate of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, head of the Orange Revolution, a pro-democracy movement in the Ukrainian parliament that has clashed with the pro-Russia, pro-Putin forces. Tymoshenko has been accused of “exceeding the authority of a Prime Minister,” a charge that her supporters contend is politically motivated. She has also been charged with contempt of court.
“When I learned what had happened in Ukraine, I stopped training for the fight and returned to Kiev as far as I understand that the real battle for democratic values is unfolding here – in Ukraine – and I cannot be an observer in this situation,” Vitali wrote on his blog in Ukrainska Pravda.
“Tymoshenko ended up behind bars on the eve of Ukraine’s independence,” Vitali writes.
“This shows that democracy in our country has not lasted twenty years, and it is destroyed. If this will continue – we will forever live in a dictatorship and total corruption, and the development of civil society will be forgotten.
“These events could well lead to Ukraine’s international isolation, which would absolutely dash Ukraine’s desire to live in a free, democratic country where European values are professed,” Vitali contends.
While the New York Times reports that Vitali will “delay a title fight planned for September” with Tomasz Adamek, it is unclear at the moment if that is indeed the case or whether it is just the training camp that has been interrupted.
Boxing Insider will report more details on this matter as they become available.