Tuesday 25 April 2017
  • :
  • :

Vitali Klitschko to fight German Manuel Charr on emotional farewell night in homeland Ukraine

Vitali Klitschko

By Jordan Stoddart

Current heavyweight king Vitali Klitschko has announced he is to fight in what will most likely be his farewell fight, against German Manuel Charr in Kiev on September 1st. The WBC ruler will be assuming a full-time role in politics in his homeland Ukraine later this year, with parliamentary elections scheduled for October 28th. The decision has all but scuppered the chances of David Haye getting a shot at the fighter who many feel put Lennox Lewis on the retirement track when they fought back in 2003.

The fight will be taking place at the Olympic stadium in Kiev, and 70,000 loyal fans are expected to attend in what will astonishingly be only the second time he has fought in his nation of birth. The adopted German has had a superb career in the Heavyweight ranks, winning world titles on three occasions. He held the WBO and WBC belts (twice) in a 46-fight career over 16 years. As for his opponent, Manuel Charr is unbeaten (21(11)-0), although his only notable win is over a well-past his prime Danny Williams, whom he stopped last year. He is ranked number 11 by this fights sanctioning body the WBC, and the German, by way of Syria, previously held the lightly regarded WBC Internationals Silver title after a points win over Marcelo Luiz Nasscimento.

For fans that are not aware, Vitali Klitschko is arguably an unbeaten fighter, although his record (44(40)-2) would  suggests otherwise. His only defeats have come to Chris Byrd and Lennox Lewis in 2000 and 2003 respectively. The first encounter, the Ukrainian retired with a shoulder injury that would persist through his career, and in the latter duel he retired due to some awful cuts inflicted during a highly controversial fight with former undisputed Heavyweight king Lewis. Many argue that Klitschko was winning the fight, and was unlucky for the bout to be stopped in such a manner, with the Briton retiring straight after and allegedly declining a rematch only fueling the fire for the argument.

One man who will most likely not be facing the WBC king, is David Haye. The Briton was hoping to lure Klitschko into an Autumn fight, but whatever hope he did have has now evaporated, with the Ukrainian passionately dedicated to the political landscape in his homeland. The fight never did look to be getting off the ground, with manager Bernd Boente apparently blocking the fight. Haye was absurdly assuming that his planned July fight with former Klitschko foe Dereck Chisora would secure him a title shot, even though he stated at the infamous brawl that his rival was some sort of amateur on the global scene. The fact of the matter is Chisora gave Vitali his hardest fight in years, and this fact is likely to have added to the reasons why one half of the dominant Klitschko brothers is looking to hang up the gloves. I for one cannot way to see the scramble for the WBC title when it becomes vacant……

Follow the Boxing Observer live on Twitter and Facebook!