VITALI KLITSCHKO [pictured above left alongside his brother Wladimir Klitschko] last fought in 2012, before relinquishing the WBC heavyweight title the following year to focus on a career in politics. Today the Mayor of Kiev was presented with an award from Roy Jones Jnr on behalf of the WBC, as the ‘Eternal World Heavyweight Champion’.

Klitschko, visibly delighted with the award, said: “Noting is impossible. I was born in the Soviet Union, a big country where professional boxing was forbidden. I would watch Mike Tyson when he became the youngest world heavyweight champion in 1986, and I said to my friends, ‘Do you know what boys? One day I will be fighting guys like that. One day I will be world heavyweight champion.

“And one day I wore that green belt that was once Tyson’s, that belonged to Muhammad Ali. For a while, it was mine.

“It’s very important to have a dream, and to do everything you can to make that dream come true.”

Klitschko, 45, afterwards spoke of his desire to bring the WBC Convention – which officially opened today – to Kiev in the future. As a fighter he twice held the WBC heavyweight title, and never lost it in the ring.