Klitschko fights for late coach
Wladimir Klitschko (File)
Hamburg - Title holder Wladimir Klitschko said on Monday he will be boxing for late coach Emanuel Steward in the upcoming world heavyweight title defence against Poland's Mariusz Wach.
"The fight is without Emanuel Steward but I will be going into the ring on Saturday with his presence to defend those titles we gathered together," Klitschko said, naming Steward's death "a big blow to everyone."
Steward died on October 25 at age 68 over complications following an operation. He had worked with Klitschko since 2004.
Former sparring partner Johnathon Banks, who also trained at Steward's famous Kronk Gym in Detroit, is now Klitschko's coach.
Klitschko, 36, is the world champion of the International Boxing Federation, International Boxing Organization, World Boxing Organization and World Boxing Association.
Klitschko takes a 58-3 record into the Hamburg bout while Wach is 27-0 and at 2.02 metres the first boxer who is taller than the champion (1.98m).
The Ukrainian Klitschko praised his challenger as "a skilled" boxer and a true sportsman but added that Wach was facing his first bout on the big stage.
Wach said he was determined to make a lasting impression and was ready to go the full distance of 12 rounds, if necessary, as people will "remember that fight not for hours but for months to come."