Vitali Klitschko to run for Ukrainian Presidency in 2015

By Mike Singer | CBSSports.com

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Klitschko is the head of the pro-Western Udar party. (USATSI)

Ukrainian heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko announced on Thursday that he would run for president in the 2015 election, the Associated Press reported.

Klitschko, 42, was a member of parliament last year as the leader of the Udar party (punch in English), and was widely opposed to what he deemed authoritarian tactics from current president Viktor Yanukovich.

The ruling Party of Regions passed a law seeking to prevent Klitschko from running for the position due to his permanent residency in Germany. That move prompted the reigning WBC heavyweight champion's announcement.

Klitschko warned that the legislation wouldn't deter his political ambitions. "[I] will not be frightened or stopped by this," he said.

“In order to put an end to various rumors and attempts to finish me off as a potential candidate, I would like to announce the following: I am running for president,” he said to parliament.

Klitschko is 45-2 with 41 knockouts in his career but has largely turned his attention to politics.

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