29 Oct 2011

Older Klitschko to hang up gloves in near future

4:39 pm on 29 October 2011

The Ukrainian boxing star Vitali Klitschko says he might only have one or two more fights in him before he gives up a glorious career in which he dominated the sport alongside his younger brother Wladimir.

But Klitschko urged his fans not to despair because he fully expected his 35-year-old brother to stay in the ring for years to come.

The imposing 40-year-old Ukrainian has 43 victories from 45 fights in a professional career that began in 1999 and included wins over the likes of Britain's Lennox Lewis.

He has recently focused his attention on Ukrainian politics and, last year, founded the opposition Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform - an acronym that means "punch" or "strike".

Klitschko has also emerged as one of the most prominent Ukrainian supporters of the former Soviet republic's jailed ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

The elder Klitschko - already a deputy on the Kiev city council - says Wladimir had recently also asked to join his political party.