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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 April 2007, 17:09 GMT 18:09 UK
Klitschko abandons Maskaev fight
Vitali Klitschko
Klitschko has not fought since December 2004
Former WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has given up his bid to fight for his old title in June.

Number one challenger Samuel Peter will now fight Russian title-holder Oleg Maskaev in Moscow on 2 June instead.

However, Klitschko's manager Bernd Broente said the Ukrainian was guaranteed to fight the winner of Maskaev v Peter later this year.

The decision ends months of wrangling, with the Nigerian refusing 1.8m to step aside and let Klitschko sign.

Klitschko attempted to land the title fight under a WBC clause that allows a former title-holder, if he was forced to give up the belt without losing it in the ring, to get the next shot at the champion.

When Klitschko announced his comeback several months ago, Peter had twice beaten James Toney in elimination fights to earn his own shot at Maskaev.

Maskaev, 38, has won 34 of his 39 fights and won the WBC title with a 12th-round stoppage of Hasim Rahman last August.

Klitschko's last fight was an eighth-round win over Britain's Danny Williams on 11 December 2004.



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