By Johnny Walker
WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko’s on-again, off-again date with obscure challenger Manuel Charr is now on again, set for September 8 at the SC Olimpiyski sports arena in Moscow, Russia.
The fight, originally said to be Klitschko’s last before retirement, was originally reported as being slated for an arena in Kiev, Ukraine.
That report proved to be false, as did the notion that this is definitely Vitali’s last fight before entering politics full-time. He is a candidate for the UDAR party in Ukrainian elections to be held Oct. 28.
The word from the Associated Press today is that “Klitschko says he wants to continue fighting, but will decide after the election.”
After widespread bafflement about the choice of Charr as Vitali’s next opponent spread around the Internet, the Klitschko camp seemed to be distancing itself from the Beirut-born fighter, and other names, such as Mariusz Wach and Bermane Stiverne, were floated as possible dance partners for the champion.
But now, it’s definitely Charr.
And the challenger is doing his best to sound threatening.
“Vitali will see in my eyes that he cannot win the fight,” Charr contends.
“Many think I will come to lose but I am coming to win. I will shock Vitali and the boxing world and get his title!”
Klitschko (44-2-0, 40 KOs) can now look forward to explaining at every press conference exactly why he plucked Charr (21-0, 11 KOs) from semi-obscurity for a championship fight. And he’s already started in the official press release.
“Charr is young, hungry and undefeated,” Vitali says.
“He is afraid of nobody, always marching forward. I know that he will be extremely motivated against me and that is why I will definitely not make the mistake to underestimate him. I will give my answer to all his trash talking inside the ring on September 8. It is great that the fight takes place in Moscow, one of the most fascinating cities in Europe. I am sure it will be an unforgettable show.”