Klitschko Returns In Triumph To Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- Wladimir Klitschko on Thursday showed off his full collection of title belts in his native Ukraine after his world heavyweight championship victory over David Haye.

Ukrainian heavyweight boxers Vladimir Klitschko (R) and his brother Vitali Klitschko (L) pose with their belts.

Wladimir and his fellow heavyweight champion elder brother, Vitali, arrived in Kiev after his victory over Britain's Haye on July 2, meaning the family now holds all four of the major world titles in professional heavyweight boxing.

"If the boxing fans had a lot of questions about who was the world champion, now the answer is clear to all and there is no need to be confused with many names," Wladimir told journalists.

"All the belts collected -- it was the aim and the dream."

Reporters greeted the siblings with applause and declared them the "pride of the national," as a female TV presenter performed a song she had written in the build-up to the fight with Haye.

"Volodya, you're my hero", she sang, using an affectionate name for Wladimir and prompting bemused smiles from the two brothers.

Wladimir said he does not intend to end his sporting career because he is "at the height of my capabilities", but has not decided yet who will be his next opponent.

Wladimir, who now holds the IBF, WBO and WBA belts, said the last time he had fought in Ukraine was in 1998 and added that he is considering having one of his next fights in Kiev.

His brother Vitali shares the dream.

"I think there is nothing impossible and we'll fulfil this dream," said Vitali, who is also known in Kiev as a politician.

"I firmly believe we can fulfil our dreams as well as the dreams we had in the sport," he said.

"We want Ukraine to become a European country not only geographically but also for those standards of life for every person who lives in Ukraine."

Vitali holds the WBC belt and also heads the Kiev-based reformist political party the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR, meaning 'punch' or 'strike' in Ukrainian and Russian).

Source: AFP