Klitschko leaves coach question open

Vladimir Klitschko is congratulated by actor Sylvester Stallone after Saturday’s fight.

Vladimir Klitschko is congratulated by actor Sylvester Stallone after Saturday’s fight.

World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has left open the question of who will coach him in the future, following his unanimous points victory over challenger Mariusz Wach, of Poland.

The 36-year-old earned the 59th victory of his career in Hamburg on Saturday on his 61st professional fight after going 12 rounds with the previously unbeaten Wach with US heavyweight Johnathon Banks in his corner.

Banks, 30, stepped in for Klitschko’s former coach Emanuel Steward, who died on October 25 aged 68 in his hometown of Detroit after surgery for cancer.

Klitschko had been coached by Steward since 2004, but the Ukrainian said no decision had been made about who would coach him for his next title fight with Russia’s Alexander Povetkin his likely opponent early in 2013.

“I am very pleased with Johnathon Banks. He has learned much from Emanuel Steward and he is developing,” said Klitschko, who defended his WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO titles against Wach.

“I won’t rule out continuing to work with him.”

Having dedicated his victory over Wach to Steward’s memory, Klitschko admitted his mentor was in his thoughts in the ring.

“We think of you, we miss you and we love you. And we will never forget you,” said Klitschko.

Klitschko began his career working with German coach Fritz Sdunek, before they split in 2004, but the 65-year-old still advises the elder Klitschko brother Vitali, the WBC world champion.

“There has been no discussions of this topic,” Sdunek was quoted as saying yesterday, “but one should never say never.”


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