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Vitali Klitschko will run for president of Ukraine

Vitali Klitschko has thrown his hat into the ring as a contender for the Ukrainian presidency. Heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has announced his run for the Ukrainian presidency. (AFP)

Heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has announced he will run for president in his native Ukraine, according to the BBC.

Klitschko announced his run at a rally in response to a newly passed law that may prohibit him from taking office, as it requires those with permanent resident status in another country to live in Ukraine for at least 180 days each year to be considered a Ukrainian resident. Klitschko, who maintains permanent resident status in Germany, says he is unfazed and believes the law is politically motivated:

"Everything that has taken place in parliament today... does not intimidate me and will not stop me," he said.

"To head off these various schemes and attempts at getting even with me as a possible candidate, I want to declare this: I will run for president."

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The boxer, known by the nickname Dr. Ironfist in the ring, is the head of the Ukrainian Democracy Alliance for Reforms, which Klitschko says is dedicated to eliminating corruption and increasing democracy in his homeland.

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