WBC King Vitali to defend against Stiverne next
WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (45-2), who is contemplating retirement, has confirmed that he is willling to defend his title against next challenger Bermane Stiverne (23-1-1).
Klitschko's manager Bernd Boente said on Wednesday that advisor Shelly Finkel has been in contact with Stiverne's promoter Don King to talk about the fight and the parameters of a deal.
As far as talks meaning Klitschko had decided to fight on, Boente said "Let's see how the negotiations go."
Besides being 41 and perhaps slowing down a little, Klitschko is heavily involved in politics in his native Ukraine and has said he is considering retirement to focus on his political career.
However at some point Klitschko will have to make a decision, The WBC sent out a letter this week to the Klitschko and Stiverne camps ordering them to negotiate a deal for the mandatory defence.
Stiverne, a native of Haiti now based in Las Vegas, became Klitschko's mandatory challenger when he won a lopsided 12-round decision against Chris Arreola on April 27. Stiverne dropped Arreola and broke his nose in the trird round, and he was never the same for the remainder of the bout.
Klitschko has made nine defences since coming out of a nearly four-year retirement, due to back and leg injuries, to stopped Samuel Peter after 8 rounds to reclaim the WBC strap in October 2008. Klitschko's last outing came in September against Manuel Charr, when he dropped Charr in the second round and stopped him on cuts in the fourth round.