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Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych down for the count? Heavyweight champion attempts to restore order

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Earlier today, former heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, the leader of the UDAR (Punch) political party in Ukraine, addressed the worsening situation in his homeland and the whereabouts of President Viktor Yanukovych. “We tried to find him all day yesterday,” Klitschko said.

“He left the country without a president."

Denying the uprising that seemingly forced the president to flee for his life was a coup, Klitschko told reporters the formulation of a functioning, stable government, in the president's absense or subsequent dismissal, was absolutely critical.

"Parliament is the last legal official institution in Ukraine," said the 42 year old fighter with an impressive 87% knockouts-to-fights-ratio.

In an effort to regain order on Sunday, parliament voted to transfer presidential power to a top official with Yankovych's location still unknown.

Although the legality of the parliament's decision-making is under question and Yankovych has refused to officially cede power, legal experts insist the de facto government/regime is now in charge.

In 2012, the pro-democracy heavyweight told Spiegel Online, "Ukraine is a wonderful country with great potential and hospitable people..."

"Unfortunately, we are observing some very negative political developments... Ukraine is transforming itself into an increasingly authoritarian regime."

Insisting reform was a priority ahead of the May 25 elections, Klitschko, who officially announced his candidacy for president of Ukraine in October, promised he would be involved in the elections process and vowed he would assume the presidency and the challenging responsibilities of leadership “If people decide it."

Will Vitali Klitschko become Ukraine's next president?

Vitali Klitschko Facts
  • Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko are the first brothers to hold world heavyweight titles concurrently.
  • Vitali is the first world boxing champion to hold a Ph.D. (Sports Science)
  • He has never been knocked down
  • 'Dr. Ironfist' was awarded Germany's highest civilian award, the Federal Cross of Merit, due to his varied accomplishments outside the ring
  • Klitschko was an amateur kickboxer during his teens
  • The leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party, Vitali twice ran for mayor of Kiev.

Title Reigns
  • WBC Heavyweight
    2008 – 2013

  • WBC Heavyweight

  • WBO Heavyweight


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