Wladimir Klitschko is well aware of his publicity statuss among the American fan base. Now, the heavyweight champion has opted to change that. However, it won't be on the heels of his impressive, decade-long 61-3 winning streak. The 37-year-old boxer recently spoke during an interview with The Associated Press in New York about his desire to fight again in the United States.
''I understand the criticism that the fights are lopsided and kind of boring. I'm getting it,'' Klitschko said Monday. ''But it's not so simple.''
While winning streaks and an array of heavyweight titles usually denote notoriety, it seems Klitschko has been categorized as predicable, given the status of his opponents in comparison to his statistics. This aspect is partially accredited for his match-ups garnering less attention than deserved.
Klitschko's upcoming match-up against Alex Leapai is a prime example. Leapai, who's only feat is being the WBO's mandatory No. 1 challenger, will take on Klitschko April 26 in Oberhausen, Germany. As usual, Klitschko will be considered the heavy favorite. Unfortunately Leapai, a native of Samoa currently residing in Australia, may only be viewed as a potential notch under Klitschko's belt.
— Klitschko (@Klitschko) February 3, 2014
The fight in April will be Klitschko's 25th heavyweight title bout. However, given his massive 247-pound, 6'6 height, along with his 81-inch reach, its almost a given that the 1996 Super Heavyweight gold medalist will dominate his opponent. Once again, Klitschko will be fighting in Germany where he is highly favored, as opposed to the United States. But, he's definitely looking to change that.
''I'm missing the fans in the U.S.,'' Klitschko said during the interview. ''The fan base is huge here and I would love to fight back in the States.''
He also revealed that there is a possibility he could be returning to the states soon after the Leapai fight. Klitschko would be expected to compete against the winner of an organized fight between contenders Bermane Stiverne and Cristobal Arreola.
Although the Stiverne-Arreola fight has yet to be signed, the WBC ordered it for the title vacated by Klitschko's older brother Vitali. On Dec. 13, 2013, Vitali,42, was announced champion emeritus, after resigning the WBC heavyweight title to focus on his career in politics.
''I want to fight here but I need a broadcaster, either Showtime or HBO, and I need an arena,'' Klitschko said. ''Of course I also need an opponent who is interesting to fans. I think the Arreola-Stiverne winner could be a good choice.''
Image via Facebook | Klitschko (1)