I am arguing with my friend, who thinks Vitali Klitschko is still a world champion - I thought he had retired. Who's right? asked Leslie Mitchell
Basically, you are correct: Vitali Klitschko, who's 43 in July, announced last December that he was retiring, so the WBC heavyweight title then became vacant. He is now concentrating on the troubled world of politics in his native Ukraine, where he is an MP and the leader of one of their political parties.
Boxing politics is almost as complicated as the real thing, and the WBC has installed Vitali as "Champion Emeritus" for the time being. I think this means he will be guaranteed a shot at the title if he decides to come out of retirement!
The process to crown a successor is still ongoing. The new WBC heavyweight champion will probably be unveiled in Los Angeles in May, when local man Chris "The Nightmare" Arreola - the current WBC "International" champion - takes on Bermane Stiverne, the Canadian who won the WBC's "Silver" belt by beating Arreola in California last year.