Heavily involved in politics in his native Ukraine, and uncertain whether or not he will be fighting again, WBC heavyweight titleholder, Vitali Klitschko, who turned 42 on July 19, has been granted an extension by the WBC in regard to the purse bid that has been slated for July 22 for his mandatory against Bermane Stiverne, according to WBC Secretary General, Mauricio Sulaiman.
In his last fight in April, which was designated as a WBC elimination bout for the right to face Klitschko, Stiverne (21-1, 20 knockouts) scored a third-round knockdown on the way to a unanimous decision over Chris Arreola (35-3, 30 KOs), whom Klitschko stopped in September of 2009.
Klitschko (45-2, 41 KOs) has not been in the ring since September, when he made the 10th defense of his belt with a fourth-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Manuel Charr. Klitschk’s 13-fight winning streak includes 10 knockouts.
“Vitali Klitschko has contacted our president [Jose Sulaiman] asking him for an extension to have another purse bid. I am not sure if we have set a new date,” said Mauricio Sulaiman, son of Jose Sulaiman. “Vitali is one of the most important champions of the WBC in recent years, and that is why the extension was accepted. I will find out the dates, and then, I will let you know.”
Promoted by K2 Promotions, Klitschko has not suffered defeat since fallinig by sixth-round knockout to Lennox Lewis in June of 2003.
The development has frustrated Stiverne’s camp, including his manager, Camille Estephan. Having gone 11-0-1, with eight knockouts in his past 12 fights, Stiverne had knocked out Ray Austin in the 10th round of an earlier eliminator bout in June of 2011.
“It’s a bit frustrating to hear only two days before the scheduled purse bid that it has once again been postponed. “We are awaiting for a new date. At this point, we have worked really hard to secure potential venues,” said Estephan.
“Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre and Montreal’s Bell Centre are still at the forefront. Regardless, Bermane is ready now, or in a few months, and the longer Klitschko plays politics rather than man up and fight, the more ready we will be and the older he will get. Bermane will KO him wherever and whenever it happens.”
Estephan also handles lightweight Ghislain “Mani” Maduma (14-0, 9 KOs), who will return to the ring on Sept. 6 against an opponent to be determined at the at the Casino Lac Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada.
Also on the card in separate bouts will be junior lightweight Baha Laham (12-0-1, 5 KOs) and light heavyweight Andy Gardiner (8-0, 4 KOs), according to Estephan.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com