Undisputed world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine said that Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao is not past his prime yet which is evident in his impressive victory against Brandon Rios in November.
Klitschko, 37, who holds 61-3 win-loss record with 51 knockouts, said that Pacquiao’s boxing career is not yet over despite his devastating knockout loss against archrival Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.
“I am sure that he can show himself with a good performance against a lot of fighters in his division,” the 6’6 Wladimir told Jenna J of On the Ropes boxing radio on Wednesday. “And I think that he [Pacquiao] is not over with the age in boxing yet.”
“But that could be also said with in Vitali’s case. He needs to open up his own mind to find out what he is going to do next,” said Wladimir, commenting on his elder brother Vitali who is also a former world heavyweight champion.
“Well I am sure it’s not that easy, he’s a little older when he lost his fight by a knockout which was last year, and I think with his performance [against Brandon Rios]he’s done things better, he won the fight and he made his camp comeback.”
Wladimir is the reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Organization (WBO), International Boxing Organization (IBO) and World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight champion.
Wladimir also vowed to win the WBC belt for the family after Vitali relinquished it on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).
“Of course, it is my goal to bring the WBC title back into the Klitschko family,” Wladimir told German daily Bild.
Should Wladimir win the WBC belt, it would make him the first fighter to hold all the major world heavyweight titles since Britain’s Lennox Lewis in 1999.
With the WBC title now vacant, mandatory challenger Canada’s Bermane Stiverne could now face US fighters Chris Arreola or Deontay Wilder for the belt and Wladimir Klitschko would be a future opponent.
On Monday, Vitali Klitschko gave up the WBC heavyweight belt, which he won in September 2008 and defended nine times, so he can focus on his political career in Ukraine.
The World Boxing Council had given Vitali the opportunity of returning to the ring by making him their Champion Emeritus.
However, the Ukrainian has all but ruled out that option as he intends to play a leading role in trying to oust present Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych in next year’s presidential election.
“My brother will take care of any further sporting success,” said Vitali.
“The offer of the WBC gives me the theoretical possibility to return to the boxing ring which I cannot imagine at all in the current state.”
Vitali’s last bout was a technical knockout against Manuel Charr in Moscow in September 2012 and his achievement of being a world champion three times is a feat matched only by the greats Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis.