Apparently, championship belts aren't valued as much as they used to be. Late last week, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre vacated his title belt and revealed that he's taking some time off from the sport of MMA. And earlier today, WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko did the same with his heavyweight belt about 15 months after he last defended it. The WBC did announce that Klitschko will remain a "champion emeritus," meaning he will get a shot at the belt if and when he chooses to return to the sport of boxing. But according to the 42-year-old champion, his boxing career is all but over right now. He seems to have a future in politics in the Ukraine.
"It was and is a great honor to hold the WBC title," he said, "and I've always done it with pride. The offer of the WBC gives me the theoretical possibility to return to the boxing ring, which I cannot imagine at all to the current state. Right now, my full concentration is on politics in Ukraine, and I feel that the people need me there. My brother Wladimir will ensure more sporting success and I will, as always, support him as much as he currently supports me in my political fight."
That's not to say that Klitschko won't return to the boxing ring. After all, how many times have we seen an athlete retire only to come back a few months or years later? But for now, he's finished, and he's leaving while he's still on top.