Battle lines drawn

Vitali Klitschko (left) and Dereck Chisora do not see eye-to-eye on who will win in February.  Photo: Sperduto/TMTOlympic Park, Munich - Heavyweight boxing returns to the Bavarian capital for the first time in five years on February 18, 2012 when Vitali Klitschko will battle Dereck Chisora.

Klitschko will defend his WBC championship belt against the British championship fighter at the Olympiahalle, a match slated for 12 rounds.

"We are looking forward to another big fight here," exclaimed CEO of Olympic Park Ralph Huber at the press conference officially announcing the fight.  "Next year we will be celebrating our 40 year anniversary and this fight will be a highlight to our calendar."

As usual, the press conference got interesting when both boxers traded verbal jabs.  

Chisora asked Vitali "to show up" and not back out like his little brother, obviously a sour issue in his camp.  The younger Klitschko, Wladimir, had to back out of his original commitment to fight Chisora on December 11, 2010, due to an injury.  Then Wladimir decided to fight another Brit, David Haye, leaving Chisora clamoring for other fights.

"Del Boy" fought two tough matches in 2011, losing them both - the first defeats of his career.  His last fight was December 3rd against Finnish Robert Helenius in Helsinki.  The bout went the distance, with both boxers gassed in the 12th round and in the end, Chisora was not able to bring down the EBU Champion and lost by split-decision - a decision that has been questioned since Chisora was the more aggressive fighter.

But now he has the fight that he wants, and he let "Dr. Iron Fists" know, he's coming to fight.

"I am going to show Vitali that his time is up and will send him into retirement," promised Chisora.  "And when his little brother Wladmir wants revenge and finally gets into the ring with me, I'll be ready and take all of the championship belts from the Klitschko's back to London."

Vitali was not phased by the trash talk, but let Chisora and the press know there will be a clear winner in this bout.

"I was very impressed by Chisora in his last fight, all the experts said he clearly won," reported Klitschko.  "In boxing there is politics in play when the fight is even.

"I've always said, when the opponent lies on the floor, there is no question who is the winner.  That's what I've shown in my career, and I will continue to do so."

And he left the crowd with a possible preview to the end of this illustrious career.  "I will show everyone a great performance.  And I will fight like this is my last fight."

Here's hoping the match lives up to the entertainment and showmanship provided by the boxers at the press conference.

Dereck Chisora (left) and Vitali Klitschko will not be buddies the next time they see each other.  Photo: Sperduto/TMTInside the Numbers:

Vitali Klitschko
Age 40, 45 fights, 43 wins, 40 Knockouts
Last loss: June 21, 2003 vs. Lennox Lewis (GB) in the 6th round TKO, both his losses were by TKO

Dereck Chisora
Age 27 (28 by fight night), 19 fights, 17 wins, 9 knockouts
2011:  after winning his first 14 professional fights, lost his only two fights in his career this year, vs. Tyson Fury on July 23rd and December 3rd vs. Robert Helenius.  Both matches went the distance, 12 rounds.

Boxing Matches at the Olympiahalle, Munich

1976  Muhammad Ali vs. Richard Dunn (GB)
1980  Georg Steinherr vs. Kevin Finnegun (GB)
1982  Amateur Boxing World Championships
1987  Kick Boxing World Championships
1995  Henry Maske vs. Graciano Rocchigiani
1996  Henry Maske vs. Virgil Hill (USA)
2003  Wladimir Klitschko vs. Fabio Moli (ARG)
2007  Henry Maske vs. Virgil Hill (USA)
2012  Vitali Klitschko vs. Dereck Chisora (GB)


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