Klitschko open to Olympics appearance

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Former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko is interested in competing at a second Olympic Games.

Professional fighters are set to become eligible for the Olympics, as soon as this year’s Games in Rio de Janeiro, after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) put forward the radical proposal.

IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO champion Wladimir Klitschko from Ukraine, right, punches his Australian challenger Alex Leapai during their heavyweight world title bout in Oberhausen, western Germany.

Klitschko, who won gold in Atlanta in 1996, has refused to rule out the possibility of competing at the iconic sporting event.

“I have always said that I would love to participate again in the Olympic Games but right now I’m only focusing on my rematch with Tyson Fury,” the 39-year-old said.

Klitschko and Tyson Fury are set to lock horns again later this year, with a May bout likely, after the latter dethroned the Ukrainian in Dusseldorf.

Fury’s upcoming title defence means Klitschko would be looking to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Klitschko’s comments come after former world champion Barry McGuigan labelled AIBA’s proposal as a “publicity stunt”.

“I don’t quite understand it because of the practicalities,” McGuigan told Sky Sports News HQ on Wednesday.

“How can you possibly have a 12 three-minute-round fighter, who is an elite championship fighter, coming in and boxing over three three-minute rounds, which is a sprint?

“It just seems crazy, it seems bizarre and it almost seems like a publicity stunt. I just don’t see how it can practically work.

“It takes you three or four years to learn to fight over 12 three-minute rounds, then you have to bring it back down again and go in.

“It takes months to get used to doing that again, then you’re putting your title and reputation on the line, and all the money you’d lose, for nothing.”

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