Klitschko – Ibragimov Press Conference

By Matthew Hurley: International Boxing Federation heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, 49-3 with 44 KOs and World Boxing Organization champion Sultan Ibragimov, 22-0-1 with 17 KOs, who will partially unify the titles on February 23rd in Madison Square Garden, held a press conference Tuesday morning at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square. The fight will be the first step in attempting to fully unify the titles since Lennox Lewis fought Evander Holyfield back in 1999..

Both fighters expressed a healthy respect for one another and the desire to be recognized as the one true heavyweight champion.

“You will see a great unification fight,” said Ibragimov. “You will see a great fight with real heavyweights.”

Klitschko, who will be making his third appearance in Madison Square Garden, attended the press conference wearing his trademark red and gold robe over his blue suit. “This is a historic fight and a historic event,” he said. “The fight is officially on. This is such a great fight, such a great city in such a great arena. It’s all about performance and I’m looking forward to putting on a great performance in this unification (bout).”

As for the robe, Klitschko revealed that he is offering fans the chance to sign their names on the robe for an asking price of $199. The fighter hopes to get thousands of signatures and then is planning to sell the robe for $150,000 with all of the proceeds going to charity.

“I’m going to enter the ring with this robe and I’m going to exit the ring with this robe.”

After Klitschko expressed his desire to become the only title holder in the division his manager Emanuel Steward expressed the cynicism of most of the media in attendance, and those of boxing fans who desperately want one unified champion.

“It won’t matter (if the title is unified),” he opined. “In six months (they’ll) split it up again.”

Article posted on 05.12.2007

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