Klitschko seeking new date for title defence

Thu, 09 Dec 14:12:00 2010

World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, recovering from injury, is looking to arrange an alternative date for his WBO, IBF, IBO title fight but it remains unclear if Briton Dereck Chisora will be his opponent.

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The 34-year-old Ukrainian was scheduled to take on the 26-year-old Zimbabwe-born British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Chisora in Mannheim on Saturday but Klitschko was ruled out after sustaining a stomach muscle injury in training on Wednesday.

Doctors in Mannheim, where the fight was to be held, said Klitschko would need to rest for four to six weeks.

"Klitschko Management Group are working on finding an alternative date with the SAP Arena (in Mannheim)," the fighter's team said.

"Tickets are still valid and once talks with the arena have been completed we will make the decision known," they said, refusing to say who he would be fighting against.

Klitschko team officials told Reuters it was still too early to say whether Vladimir's next mandatory title defence would be against Chisora.

For the fight to go ahead Chisora will also have to agree given that it was not him who pulled out. In case an agreement is not achieved Klitschko could pick a different opponent.

The Briton has fought and won 14 fights, nine through knockout, compared to Klitschko's 55 wins and three defeats.

"The pain was extreme. I could barely move," Klitschko told broadcaster RTL, who have bought the rights for his and his brother's fights.

Vitali Klitschko holds the WBC crown and the two brothers have been trying to set up a fight against WBA champion Briton David Haye, who holds the only belt they do not have.

That bout, which was initially seen as a possibility for 2011, now becomes a more distant prospect given Wladimir's injury.


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