By Johnny Walker
In the wake of criticism (including from this publication) about how long it is taking for WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko to decide whether to fight on or not, the head of the WBC says that no matter how long it takes, Vitali is on safe ground.
WBC President Jose Sulaiman has apparently told World Boxing News that his organization is in discussions to bring about Vitali’s mandatory fight with Canadian Bermane Stiverne, but he adds, “What I will say is that we will not consider Klitschko losing his title. I would never do it for one of the most loyal and great WBC champions.”
Boxing Insider also learned from a source close to the Klitschko camp that promoter Don King, who is involved with Stiverne, is making the negotiations difficult.
King has been known for making ridiculously high purse bids for fights as of late, bids that he has no intention of paying, holding up the fights for months (see the recent Stiverne vs Arreola tilt) for no reason when he inevitably defaults on said bids.
With King, whose relationship with the Klitschkos is less cool than ice cold, involved, solving this impasse could be highly problematic. King was portrayed as a phoney and fraud in the recent excellent biopic simply entitled Klitschko.
Along with King, there is the matter of Vitali’s political aspirations back in Ukraine, where he heads the UDAR (“Punch”) party.
But Sulaiman is adamant that no matter how long it takes, Vitali will still fight as the WBC champ when he next enters the ring.
“Vitali is a pride of the WBC. Also a gentleman and example for all boxers in the world,” says Sulaiman.
“What would I give for all boxers to be like him?”