By Alexey Sukachev and Yuri Mikhalkin (Sports.ru)
Recently, WBC world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (44-2, 40 KOs) held a presser in Moscow, Russia, dedicated to his upcoming fight with Germany-based Syrian Manuel Charr. The Charr fight is set for Sep. 8 at a huge arena – Olimpiyskiy Palace of Sports, also in Moscow – which will be aired on delay by the HBO.
During the presser the elder of Klitschko brothers answered a number of questions both about his future bout, possible future opponents and some of the former victims of K2. Here are the most interesting excerpts.
- Your next fight takes its place on September 8 in Moscow, Russia, against Manuel Charr. Why has the Russian capital been chosen for such an event?
- We’ve been weighing in a number of options, including New York, Frankfurt, Kiev and some other cities. The Russian offer was the most interesting. I have never felt that I was a stranger in Moscow. I expect a sellout crowd on September 8, and I’m sure the local crowd will support me vehemently.
- Recently, you’ve been rooting hard against a possible change of status for the Russian language in your native Ukraine. You have gone as far as to give your life’s blood for that. Don’t you think that a stern support for those, who are fighting versus an ever-growing presence of Russians in your homeland, will affect your local supporters?
- I have taken my part in the recent political activities, but the language question was somewhere around 31st place on my list of worries. We have been fighting for the salary rise, for a bigger number of accessible vacancies and against inflation. We haven’t even thought about the language question until it had been put forward by the government. The state’s authorities have no answers for us – that’s why they decided to put up a totally different question, which isn’t even at least as important as the rest of problems.
- Why have you chosen Charr? It seems nobody knows him…
- When I fought Lennox Lewis, a few knew about me. That’s where Charr is right now. He is a young boxer indeed but he already belongs to the heavyweight elite, he has two wins over former challengers to the title. He is very hungry and very aggressive. On the top of that he doesn’t know how to lose – not only hasn’t he been defeated, but he has never tasted the canvas, he has never been knocked down in his career. As for me, my biggest advantage over him is my vast experience. So that’ll be a fight of youth and experience.
- Charr compares himself to a lion and promises to tear you apart.
- It looks like Manuel has forgotten about my nickname – The Ironfist (Das Eisenfast). I’m afraid he is going to pull his teeth off my skin. We have studied him well and found some weak spots in his boxing. September 8 will answer a question, if Vitali Klitschko is done or can he compete at the same level and continue his career. The moment of truth is near.
- Several media outlets have already reported that the Charr fight would be the last in your memorable career.
- When I decide to finish my career I shall call a huge presser, so everyone will know about it. Right now I’m an active fighter.
- Moscow, Russia… Many thought Alexander Povetkin is the best choice for your next opponent in such a place. Were you unable to find an agreement with Team Povetkin?
- Alexander had not one but two great opportunities to fight my brother Wladimir and he blew them both. First, he suffered an injury, and then he chose to ignore the presser. When that happened, even his head coach Teddy Atlas confirmed Povetkin wasn’t ready to fight either of the Klitschkos. He hasn’t expressed any interest in such a fight in recent memory.
- And what about David Haye? Was he considered as a possible opponent to fight you?
- Yes, he was. He was offered a fight with me in September but he has chosen to clash against Dereck Chisora instead. That was his choice.
- After an impressive knockout of Dereck Chisora, Haye told the media that he was almost sure you wouldn’t fight him and would avoid such a challenge at all costs.
- Once again, I have offered Haye a fight several times. All of these offers were rejected by Team Haye. David can speculate about it, he can tell everybody these fairy tales. The truth is that he needs to find an answer inside himself.
- Did you like Chisora versus Haye fight?
- As a boxing fan, well, I’ve found it interesting. It was indeed interesting, a fight between two losers who failed in their latest attempts against Klitschko brothers, and who are two of the most trash-talking big men around. But as an expert, I have found nothing particularly fascinating in the fight, nothing memorable. It’s to be said though that Haye has rightfully earned his kudos for knocking Chisora out.