World Boxing Champion Klitschko to Run for Ukraine’s Presidency

World boxing champion Vitali Klitschko plans to run in Ukraine’s presidential race in 2015, challenging the incumbent, Viktor Yanukovych.

Klitschko, known as Dr. Ironfist, revealed his intention to the president of the World Boxing Council, Jose Sulaiman, while in Mexico, according to a statement released today on the organization’s website. The 42-year-old said he doesn’t plan to retire from boxing.

“Vitali explains that he wants to keep participating in politics and run for the presidency of his country, Ukraine, in 2015,” the council said in the statement. “And that boxing has greatly helped prepare him for this.”

Klitschko joined politics last year, with his party winning 42 parliamentary seats in October elections. While striking an alliance with two other opposition groups, the parties haven’t picked a single candidate to stand against Yanukovych, promising instead to support whichever makes it into a second round of voting against the incumbent.

Klitschko had 15.9 percent backing for the 2015 election, the most of any candidate, according to a May 21-30 survey of 2,030 eligible voters by the International Institute of Sociology, based in the capital, Kiev. His support has risen 7 percentage points from June 2012, the institute said.

Yanukovych had 14.3 percent backing, down 3 percentage points, according to the statement. The survey had a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

-- Editors: Andrew Langley, Paul Abelsky

To contact the reporter on this story: Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at

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