BERLIN, March 23 – Former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko hopes to box for a second Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro, if the timing of his rematch against Tyson Fury allows.
Hamburg-based Klitschko turns 40 on Friday and would relish the chance to box for more Olympic medals having won the Super heavyweight gold for Ukraine at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Professional boxers are set to be eligible to compete at the Rio Olympic Games this August under radical proposals being pushed through by the world governing body, AIBA, and set to be voted on in June.
But Klitschko, who has won 64 of his 68 bouts since turning professional in 1996, says his priority is to win back the WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF belts he lost on points to Britain’s Fury in Duesseldorf last November.
A date for their rematch has yet to be confirmed.
“I think it’s right that professional boxers be allowed to compete (in Rio), but it’s not a foregone conclusion that it’ll happen,” Klistchko told SID, an AFP subsidiary.
“I am convinced a lot of pro fighters will have difficulties dealing with the style of the amateurs.
“My first task is the rematch against Fury.
“If it fits into my time plan, I’m not ruling out a start at the Rio Olympics.
“If it’s allowed, I’ll be there.
“It would be an incredible feeling to be at the Olympics again 20 years after my gold medal in Atlanta.”
Klitschko, who suffered his first defeat in a decade against Fury, says he has given no thought to retiring.
He is not the only big-name pro boxer eyeing Olympic medals as eight-time world champion Manny Pacquiao has said it would be an honour to fight for the Philippines in Rio.
Pacquiao has posted a 57-6-2 win-loss-draw record in a glittering 21-year pro career that began in January 1995.
He never competed in the Olympics, although he did act as the country’s flag-bearer in the 2008 games.