Victorious Vitali to retire 'soon'
Vitali Klitschko has not retired. But he knows he will have to do so soon.
"I'm 41 and I'm still boxing. But one cannot trick nature. I will have to hang my gloves on a nail soon," the WBC champion said after beating Manuel Charr in Moscow on Saturday night.
"I'm facing major tasks, and not only in sport," he said. "I'll fly to Kiev in the morning and will be fully occupied with preparations for the (Ukraine) parliamentary elections in October.
Klitschko, who heads an opposition political party called Udar, said he would have some rest and then announce his future plans.
"I'm disappointed because I wanted to win by a real knockout; not a technical one," he said after the bout after retaining his title on a fourth-round stoppage.
"I was ready to keep on fighting and so was Charr. But it was the doctor's decision to stop the bout and it was his responsibility."
Klitschko praised Charr, a 27-year-old Beirut-born former kickboxer, saying he was "a real fighter with a big heart. One day he will be a champion."
Charr said, "Everyone who knows me know I never give up Vitali is a great champion but he didn't win. It was the doctor who won the bout. It was not our corner's decision."
The beaten Germany-based challenger asked for a rematch, but Klitschko said he had had his chance.
Charr spent most of the first round covering up and offering little on attack. He was also mostly on defence in the second round but Klitschko finally knocked him down. Charr got up but when the referee counted to three, the bell marked the end of the round.
"I provoked him to be more aggressive and he began to make more mistakes," Klitschko said. "Those were my tactics."
Midway through the third round Klitschko landed a hook that opened a cut from which the blood immediately started pouring.
Klitschko has held the WBC title since 2004. His younger brother Wladimir holds the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight belts.