The move leaves the WBC heavyweight title vacant, and although Klitschko could decide to return to the ring to fight for it again in the future he says that is unlikely.
The 42-year-old, who boasts a 45-2 record with 41 KOs, has been heavily involved in the ongoing political crisis in his home country, where pro-European demonstrators have staged large-scale protests in Kiev against president Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign a deal for closer integration towards the European Union.
Klitschko, the leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform and a member of the Ukrainian parliament, has emerged as a leader of the opposition movement and has confirmed he will make a run for the country’s presidency.
In a statement, Klitschko said: “I want to thank the WBC and its president Don Jose Sulaiman for the support in our fight for democracy and freedom in the Ukraine. It was and is a great honor to hold the WBC title and I’ve always done it with pride. The offer of the WBC gives me the theoretical possibility to return to the boxing ring which I cannot imagine at all to the current state.
“Right now, my full concentration is on politics in Ukraine, and I feel that the people need me there. My brother Wladimir will ensure more sporting success and I will – as always – support him as much as he currently supports me in my political fight.”
Klitschko’s younger brother Wladimir, 37, is the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO world heavyweight champion.