CANASTOTA, N.Y. (AP) - Three years after he threw his hat back into the political ring for good, former heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko achieved the ultimate honor for his time in that other ring - selection to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
''It's a dream of many boxers to be a member of the Hall of Fame family,'' Klitschko, now the mayor of Kiev, Ukraine, said in a statement from the Hall of Fame. ''I've thought about the Hall of Fame, but I never expected one day that I would be among the legends who were always examples for me. It's a big honor.''
Klitschko was one of nine people selected for induction next June. Other boxers in the class of 2018 announced Tuesday were four-division world champion Erik Morales and light middleweight champion Ronald ''Winky'' Wright, while Sid Terris was elected posthumously in the old-timer category.
Morales won titles in four weight divisions. Nicknamed ''El Terrible,'' the native of Mexico followed his father into the ring and won the NABF and WBC super bantamweight titles. He also defeated Guty Espadas Jr. for the WBC featherweight title in 2001, captured the WBC and IBF super featherweight titles in 2004, and in 2011 defeated Pablo Cano for the WBC light welterweight title. He retired a year later after back-to-back losses to Danny Garcia, finishing with a pro record of 52-9 (36 KOs).
******FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2001, file photo, Vitali Klitschko, of Ukraine, shows the world championship belt. after he knocked out Orlin Norris, of the United States, in the first round of a WBO heavyweight title fight in Munich, Germany.