7 Nov 2008

Klitschko ordered to defend title against Gomez

10:54 am on 7 November 2008

Ukrainian heavyweight boxer Vitali Klitschko has been ordered to make a mandatory defence of his World Boxing Council title against the German-based Cuban Juan Carlos Gomez.

The WBC agreed at its 46th general assembly in China that should the promoters of both boxers fail to agree on a fight, the bout would be open to purse bids on December 19th at the WBC's headquarters Mexico City.

37-year-old Klitschko returned to the ring after a four-year absence to reclaim the WBC belt last month by beating Samuel Peter in a one-sided fight in which the Nigerian retired after the eighth round.

His younger brother, Wladimir, will defend his IBF and WBO heavyweight titles against former champion Hasim Rahman of the United States in Germany, on December 13th.

The Klitschko-Gomez fight could take place in Germany in March.

Klitschko had wanted to make a voluntary defence of his title but the WBC board of governors decided in favour of its number one contender Gomez.

The 35-year-old Cuban had won the final elimination bout against Ukrainian Vladimir Virchis in September in Hamburg.