Vitali Klitschko vacates boxing title to pursue politics

Opposition party leader Vitali Klitschko gestures during a mass rally on Independence Square in Kiev on December 15, 2013. 

FRANKFURT, Germany - Vitali Klitschko has vacated his world heavyweight title and says he doesn't expect to fight again as he concentrates on Ukrainian politics and his role as an opposition leader.

The World Boxing Council on Monday proclaimed Klitschko a "Champion Emeritus," a move that would allow him to challenge the new champion directly should he wish to resume his career.

But Klitschko says he "could not imagine at all something like that happening as things stand now."

Klitschko says he will focus on politics in Ukraine and that "I feel people need me there."

The 42-year-old Klitschko has a 45-2 record, with 41 KOs.

His younger brother Wladimir holds the other significant heavyweight belts.


Ukraine's two-time World Heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (right) fights to defend his WBC heavyweight title against Germany's Manuel Charr in Moscow, September 9, 2012.