The news that star professional boxers could be made eligible to compete in the Rio Olympics made no impact on Wladimir Klitschko, a former world heavyweight champion and 1996 Olympic gold medalist.
“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,” Klitschko said when asked if he planned to compete in Rio, according to an email from his manager Thursday.
On Wednesday, AIBA president Ching-Kuo Wu said a proposal to open Olympic boxing to all fighters could be ratified within months, potentially in time for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August, according to The Associated Press.
Fury defeated Klitschko by unanimous decision on Nov. 28, the Ukrainian’s first loss in more than 11 years. A rematch between the two could take place in the spring, but no date has been set.
The 39-year-old Ukrainian also said last February that he “would love to participate” in Olympic boxing if made eligible, calling it “a dream.”
“Any other sport, they can play professionally [and play in the Olympics],” Klitschko said. “It’s a shame for boxing that professional boxers cannot perform in the Olympics.”