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PRESS BOX: Vasili Klitschko vacates heavyweight title

The SportsXchange

Vitali Klitschko, who has not defended his WBC heavyweight title in 15 months and is involved in the political unrest in his native Ukraine, vacated his title on Monday.

As a result, the WBC named him the organization's "champion emeritus." If Klitschko, 42, decides to fight again, he will have the opportunity to fight for the title.

Vitali Klitschko is the older brother of Wladimir Klitschko, who successfully defended his WBA, IBF, WBO and The Ring heavyweight titles with a unanimous decision over Alexander Povetkin in October.

Vitali Klitschko is 45-2 with 41 knockouts. The Klitschko brothers have said they would never fight each other in a unification bout.


Glendale, Ariz., and Tampa, Fla., have been named the host cities for the college football national championship games following the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Glendale's University of Phoenix Stadium, the site of the Fiesta Bowl, was chosen over three other venues for the Jan. 11, 2016, game.

Tampa's Raymond James Stadium, which hosts the Outback Bowl and is home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was selected over five other sites for the Jan. 9, 2017, championship game.

AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, had already been named the site for the national title game next season, which will be the first year the NCAA moves to the four-team playoff.


--Thanks to its 72-70 road victory over Michigan on Saturday, Arizona retained the No. 1 spot in both the Associated Press and USA Today top-25 polls released Monday.

The Wildcats (11-0) received 63 of 65 first-place votes in the AP media poll and 30 of 32 first-place votes in the coaches poll.

Syracuse and Ohio State remained No. 2 and 3, respectively, as the top three spots in both polls were unchanged from last week.

--Utah State leading scorer and rebounder Jarred Shaw has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules, the school announced.

The 6-foot-10 center was averaging 16.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks this season.


--- Edmonton Oilers defenseman Corey Potter was been suspended by the NHL for two games, without pay, for boarding Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Bonino on Sunday, the league announced.

At the time, Potter was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for checking from behind.

---The Chicago Blackhawks activated forward Bryan Bickell from injured reserve, the team announced.

The Blackhawks also reassigned forward Jeremy Morin to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

Bickell, 27, has registered five goals and one assist in 22 games this season with the Blackhawks.

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