W. Klitschko to fight taller opponent for first time
BERLIN (AP) -- Wladimir Klitschko will defend his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles against Polish challenger Mariusz Wach on Nov. 10 in Hamburg.
Klitschko's management company announced the bout Thursday and said it will be the first time the fighter has fought a taller opponent. Wach is 6-foot-6, more than an inch taller than Klitschko.
"The challenge for me is his size because, for the first time in my career, I'll be meeting an opponent who is taller than me and has a longer reach," said Klitschko, the super heavyweight champion at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. "Wach is unbeaten, has a strong punch and irrepressible resolve."
The 32-year-old Wach is No. 4 in the WBC rankings, with a 27-0 record (15 knockouts) since turning professional in 2005.
"I'm not an ex-cruiserweight but a real heavyweight," Wach said. "I won't allow Wladimir to come into the fight as he likes to do. But I'll put him under pressure from the beginning. He's going to get a lot of heavy punches until I finally knock him out. I'll be the first heavyweight champion from Poland."
The 36-year-old Klitschko, who is 58-3 with 51 KOs, returns to Hamburg for the first time since his unanimous decision over British fighter David Haye in July 2011 and for the fourth time overall.
"To compete in my adopted town of Hamburg again is something very special for me," Klitschko said. "I fought my first professional fight here and realized the dream with (older brother) Vitali of uniting all the world title belts with my WBA title win here last year."
The bout will be the Ukrainian's 22nd world title fight and his third defense this year after knockout wins over Jean-Marc Mormeck of France in March and American challenger Tony Thompson in July.
Vitali Klitschko will defend his WBC title against Manuel Charr of Germany in Moscow on Sept. 8.
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