Vitali Klitschko: Is Vitali Planning A Return To Boxing?

17.11.06 - By David Lahr: Vitali Klitschko (35-2, 34 KO's), the one-time WBC/WBO heavyweight champion, is rumored to be planning a boxing comeback, according to the German media. Apparently, Vitali is going to be training in Germany with Fritz Zdunek, his former trainer. Late last year, on November 9, 2005, Vitali retired from boxing after suffering an injury to his right knee while training for his title defense against Hasim Rahman.. The knee injury, an MCL tear, bone bruise and torn meniscus, was severe enough that it would have taken Vitali an extensive amount of time (6 months or more) to come back, by which time the WBC would have already stripped his heavyweight title, after having given him two other postponements.

Rather then be stripped of his title, Vitali retired from boxing. In terms of the injuries, the meniscus tear (torn cartilage) is the most troubling of the three, mainly because the meniscus serves as the shock absorber for the knee, and when it's injured, the knee is badly weakened. Depending on the severity of the injury, it may have a lingering effect, preventing Vitali from generating as much strength as before.

One thing in Vitali's favor, however, is that the injury effects his right knee rather than his left, which is his lead leg in fighting, and the one that is bent the most during boxing matches.

If things go alright with training, then Vitali would likely be challenging for a major title after a warm up fight or two. Clearly, even with a semi-good knee, Vitali would appear to be better than the majority of the current heavyweight champions, if not all. His younger brother, Wladimir, is much faster and with better skills, but doesn't seem to have the toughness that Vitali has exhibited.

Article posted on 18.11.2006

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