Vitaly Klitschko, former WBC, WBO and The Ring magazine heavyweight boxing champion, has his sights set on another title: President of Ukraine. The leader of the progressive Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms (UDAR) party says he intends to stand as a candidate in the May elections.

Klitschko is likely to find a serious contender in Yanukovich's arch rival, the former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was freed from prison after spending two-and-a-half years behind bars.

Klitschko entered Ukrainian politics in 2005 as an adviser to President Viktor Yushchenko. He became leader of UDAR in April 2010 and continued his boxing career until December 2013. He was at the forefront of the anti-government protests that shook the regime of Viktor Yanukovich and ultimately led to his removal.

26 June 1999: Vitaly Klitschko celebrates after beating British boxer Herbie Hide for the WBO Heavyweight Championship belt at the London ArenaGetty
23 November 2002: Vitaly Klitschko of Ukraine admires his trophy from the WBA for Best Boxer of the Year after beating American boxer Larry Donald in DortmundReuters
2002 lewis
21 June 2003: Vitaly Klitschko during a post-fight press conference after losing to Lennox Lewis of Britain at the Staples Centre in Los AngelesReuters
29 March 2004: Ukrainian boxing brothers Vladimir and Vitaly Klitschko pose after training at the La Brea Boxing Gym in Los AngelesReuters
knock out
11 December 2004: WBC title holder Vitaly Klitschko knocks Danny Williams of Great Britain to the canvas during their WBC heavyweight championship fight at Mandalay Bay in Las VegasReuters
16 October 2010: Vitaly Klitschko lands a punch on Shannon Briggs of the US during their WBC Heavyweight Championship boxing bout in HamburgReuters
25 January 2011: Ukrainian heavyweight boxer Vitaly Klitschko arrives at a news conference in Berlin to present his party, UDAR (Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms)Reuters
2 July 2011: Ukrainian IBF and WBO titleholder Vladimir Klitschko lands a punch on British WBA champion David Haye in a heavyweight title unification boxing match in Hamburg. Klitschko won on pointsReuters
1 February 2012: Vladimir (L) and Vitaly Klitschko pose with their world championship belts at their training camp in the western Austrian village of GoingReuters
chisora slap
17 February 2012: British boxer Dereck Chisora slaps the face of Ukrainian heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko after the official weigh-in in MunichReuters
18 February 2012: Vitaly Klitschko lands a punch on British challenger Dereck Chisora during their title bout in Munich. Klitschko won the fight after 12 rounds by a 3-0 decisionReuters
3 December 2012: Vitaly Klitschko crowns Muhammad Ali as the "King of Boxing" during the 50th Convention of the World Boxing Council in Cancun, MexicoReuters
tear gas
4 July 2012: Vitaly Klitschko, leader of Ukrainian political party UDAR, covers his face after police fired teargas during a rally held to protest against a Russian language bill passed by parliament in KievReuters
klitschko fire extinguisher
19 January 2014: Opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko reacts after he was sprayed with a powder fire extinguisher during a pro-European integration rally in KievReuters
22 February 2014: Head of the UDAR (Punch) party Vitaly Klitschko addresses anti-government protesters outside the Ukrainian Parliament building in KievReuters