Ukraine boxer Klitschko accuses King of blocking title fight

January 29th, 2009 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Kiev, Jan 29 (DPA) Ukrainian heavyweight boxer Wladimir Klitschko accused American boxing promoter Don King of blocking an undisputed world heavyweight title bout against Russian Nikolai Valuev.Klitschko, 33, holds the IBF, WBO, and IBO world heavyweight titles. A fight between Klitschko and Valuev, holder of the WBA heavyweight belt, would arguably make the winner the world’s unchallenged top heavyweight fighter.

Wladimir Klitschko’s older brother Vitali, holds the WBC belt, but both Klitschkos have rejected the idea of their ever fighting each other.

“Don King is the problem, he is is setting the rules… so as to make a (undisputed world championship) fight impossible,” Wladimir Klitschko said at a press conference here Wednesday.

“We (the Klitschko brothers) want a fight with Valuev… and it is our understanding that he (Valuev) wants to fight me,” Wladimir Klitschko said. “But it is clear to us Donald King does not want the fight to happen.”

Valuev according to Wladimir Klitschko is managed by two boxing promoters, with King holding right of final approval of terms under which the Russian would fight.

King according to Klitschko has insisted Valuev receive a greater share of the purse than Klitschko, and that King receive sole promotion rights for the new undisputed champion’s next three fights, no matter who wins the Klitschko-Valuev fight.

“These terms obviously are unacceptable to us,” Vitali Klitschko said. “As far as we are concerned, this fight (a Valuev-Wladimir Klitschko bout) would be an extremely interesting matchup between two equal title belt holders, and we are only willing to begin talks from the assumption of a 50 - 50 split of the proceeds.”

Wladimir Klitschko in his last fight successfully defended his three champion belts in a December bout against American Hasim Rahman, stopping Rahman with a 7th round TKO.

Vitali Klitschko held onto his WBC belt with 7th round win in October against Nigerian Samuel Peter, and is scheduled to fight Cuban challenger Juan Carlos Gomez in March.

King, 76, has been a longtime controversial figure in American sports, and has faced numerous multi-million dollar lawsuits over the years from boxers, including former champs Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson, who argued he cheated them out of money.

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