Wladimir Klitschko insists the delayed rematch with Tyson Fury is more than just about reclaiming the world heavyweight titles. The 40-year-old has been forced to wait for a second clash with the Briton after Fury suffered a sprained ankle in training for the bout, which could now be delayed until October.
The Ukrainian has been publicly humiliated by Fury since his 11-year unbeaten run was ended by the Manchester-born fighter in Dussledorf in November 2015 via a unanimous points decision. A press conference to announce the original rematch which was scheduled for 9 July saw Fury constantly jibe Klitschko, claiming he lost to a man as "fat as a pig".
Klitschko has become noticeably agitated by Fury's behaviour, which has also included sexist and homophobic comments, and his mood is unlikely to be improved by the delay to the second clash between the pair, when the WBA and WBO titles will be contested. But Klitschko says opportunity to become world champion once again is not his primary motivation.
"It's not about belts," he told The Daily Star. "The belts are secondary. It's a man who put a defeat on your list, so I'm fighting not for the belts. It's about Tyson Fury and I am emotional about it and I love it. I'm excited about it.
"I respect the sanctioning bodies, but it's frustrating sometimes because you are collecting the belts for many years, you are making all those negotiations for many years because any unification fight is a very complex process.
"You collect the world title belts through the years and in every fight you put them on the line then, 'boom', someone else has all the parts. I was laughing about it afterwards because as soon as the chef leaves the kitchen the rats are dancing on the table. It's getting more exciting because we're getting other champions, so there's more energy in boxing. I'm looking forward to revenge at his home – it will happen in his own back yard."