Boxing: Vitali Klitschko heads into politics – but could it be after a Charr grilling?


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The Independent Online

Vitali Klitschko wasted years trying to get Lennox Lewis back in the ring and it now looks likely that he will finally join his nemesis in retirement after one final defence of his WBC title tonight in Moscow.

Klitschko is 41, has been a professional boxer since 1996, has knocked out 40 of the 44 men that he has beaten and is likely to add to that impressive statistic when he fights Lebanese-born German Manuel Charr. Klitschko is a politician in his native Ukraine and that is his future.

"I have to look at everything that is happening and make some decisions," said Klitschko, who struggled at times to beat Dereck Chisora earlier this year.

"For a long time I wanted Lennox to come out of retirement but in boxing I achieved a lot – outside of boxing I still have a lot to do. I will make decisions quickly."

Charr, who has never lost, is convinced that he is the last heavyweight left, in a shrinking pool of plucky fighters, and that he will be the right man at the right time finally to retire Klitschko, the older of the two fighting brothers and an inch or two taller at 6ft 7in.

The awful truth is that Charr could be right as there have been clear signs of decay in Klitschko over the years, even in fights where he has crushed reluctant challengers.

The towering Ukrainian, who has now made 10 defences of the title, has not lost since savage cuts forced him out against Lewis in 2003, but he also took a break of four years when his colossal frame simply stopped working.