Vitali Klitschko Gives Up Heavyweight Title For Politics

Vitali Klitschko is ending his dominant reign as heavyweight champion over the last several years, and better part of the last decade, giving up his WBC belt to focus on politics in Ukraine. 

The atmosphere is very tense in his homeland, with large protests and police crackdowns in Kiev. The anger is mainly directed towards the apparent influence of Russia in the political decision to opt out of a deal that would have brought them closer to Europe. Klitschko is the founder and leader of the Udar (Punch) Party and will now prioritize repairing his nation over continuing to dominate a class devoid of competition.

Klitchsko, along with his brother Wladimir, haven't really made much impact on pop culture in America, but they routinely sold out venues across Europe, particularly in Germany. Their robotic style enabled the two giants to pulverize challengers from range, winning through the directed force of sheer mass. 

Despite their often large size advantage, neither brother cranks out knockouts, preferring instead to grind out wins from a safe distance. Still. Vital earned his pedigree in an epic battle with Lennox Lewis. Though Klitschko was winning on the scorecards, the fight was halted because of severe damage to his eye. Klitschko protested vehemently and won many fans with his heart despite the loss. 

But Lewis was the last true test for Klitschko, and arguably either brother. Klitschko stepped away from the game once before in 2005, then came back and never lost again. There's no one that can step two him except baby bro, and that fight will never happen.

Klitschko was named WBC Champion Emertius by President Jose Suliaman, meaning he can return to fight the reigning champion at any time. That isn't likely to happen, though. There isn't a fighter out there worthy of the challenge, not with widespread protests and discord to fight in his homeland.