Vitali Klitschko’s right hand injury will prevent a 2013 bout against Bermane Stiverne

Although a legendary prizefighter, Vitali Klitschko should surrender the WBC heavyweight belt.

Due to a right hand injury, WBC heavyweight champion “Dr. Iron Fist” Vitali Klitschko announced Tuesday that he will be unable to compete in 2013.

The 41-year-old Klitschko (45-2, 41 KOs) had been negotiating to scrap mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne.

After winning two elimination bouts, Stiverne (22-1-1, 20 KOs) rightfully voiced his frustrations with Dr. Ironfist and the WBC.

“I would hate to think the WBC treats some fighters more highly than others,” said Stiverne, 34, who battered Chris Arreola to earn a unanimous decision triumph on April 27. “I don’t understand. [Timothy] Bradley was stripped when he was injured, but I’ve read that the WBC would never strip Vitali. Do they have favorites? All fighters should be treated the same. We haven’t heard anything directly from the WBC. The WBC isn’t respecting us or its own rules. This isn’t fair or respectful, and it’s bad for boxing.”

Klitschko last exited the squared circle in September 2012 with a fourth round TKO victory over “Diamond Boy” Manuel Charr.

Leading the UDAR (Punch) party to a surprising third place finish in the Ukrainian parliamentary election in October, Klitschko hasn’t decided whether to again fight or focus on politics.

A former mayoral candidate who is 15-2 in world title bouts, “Dr. Iron Fist” hasn’t been overcome since Lennox Lewis escaped with an extremely controversial sixth round TKO win in June 2003.

Never floored as a professional and owning the second-highest heavyweight knockout percentage (87.76%), the 6-foot-8, 245 pound Klitschko will ultimately be remembered as one of the greatest prizefighters in history.

Nevertheless, considering a 2015 run for presidency, Vitali Klitschko’s inactivity is absolutely “bad for boxing.”

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