Wladimir Klitschko believes world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury should be suspended from boxing for anti-semitic comments that made him sound “like Hitler”.
Fury, who earned a shock victory over Klitschko last year to take the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles, the latter of which he was later stripped of, apologised last month after making a string of offensive comments in a video posted online.
Ahead of his rematch with Fury in Manchester on July 9, Klitschko made clear his disgust at the views expressed by his rival, who had claimed: “Zionist, Jewish people … own all the banks, all the papers, all the TV stations.”
“His statements about women and about men and women in the gay community [were unacceptable],” said Klitschko. “When he got to Jewish people, he sounded like Hitler.
“The man is an imbecile. We have an imbecile champion.
“He just puts the world of boxing in the wrong spot. He represents not just himself, he represents the sanctioning bodies, he represents a lot of boxing fans as the champion. It’s not just about him. He needs to understand, but he obviously doesn’t.
“Especially in this crazy world as we see with all that’s going on, we don’t need somebody having the stage and bringing the hate to Jewish people.
“As I said, he sounds like Hitler. I cannot accept it and I don’t accept it.
“I understand that we cannot have a champion like that. Either he needs to be shut up and shut down in the ring, or he needs to be just suspended, because you cannot create more hate.”
In the apology he released last month, the controversial Fury said: “I said some things, which may have hurt some people, which as a Christian man is not something I would ever want to do.
“I mean no harm or disrespect to anyone and I know more is expected of me as an ambassador of British boxing and I promise in future to hold myself up to the highest possible standard.
“Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am in no way a racist or bigot and I hope the public accept this apology.”