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Nov
2020

Wladimir Klitschko harbours hopes of US bout, understands ‘boring’ label

Phil Jay 26/02/2014

Heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko is eyeing a return to US TV in the near future after facing a blackout of live coverage from Stateside networks in recent years.

The 37 year-old, who has dominated the division by capturing all but one of the current titles, is gearing up for yet another low-profile mandatory challenger on April 26 in Alex Leapai, but says he can only fight what is put in front of him.

“I understand the criticism that the fights are lopsided and kind of boring. I’m getting it, but it’s not so simple,” a frustrated Klitschko told AP.

“I’m missing the fans in the U.S. The fan base is huge here and I would love to fight back in the States. I want to fight here but I need a broadcaster, either Showtime or HBO, and I need an arena.

“Of course I also need an opponent who is interesting to fans. I think the Arreola-Stiverne winner could be a good choice,” he added.

Klitschko’s last big-name outing came in 2011 against former undisputed crusierweight champion David Haye, although even a predicted close encounter failed to materialise as the Briton complained of an injury.

Looking down the list at the current crop of contenders would make for difficult reading for any of the US boxing broadcasters, as beyond losing world title challengers Chris Arreola and Dereck Chisora, the rest are untested at world level.

Many have found the step-up from facing top 10 level heavyweights to fighting a Klitschko a near impossible task over the last decade and it now remains to be seen which of the current pretenders can give Klitschko a decent challenge before his age finally comes into play.

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