Vitali Klitschko`s platform as he runs for mayor of his hometown of Kyiv, Ukraine, comes through clearly in his travels during the race, according to the Canadian Press.
The former heavyweight champion is spending time in New York and Washington meeting with U.S. business and political leaders this week. As he pursues the post for the second time, Klitschko emphasizes the connections he desires between the city and the rest of the world.
At a news conference Monday, he talked about transforming Kyiv into an international city such as New York or Paris.
"We hope Kyiv will be part of Europe, part of the modern world," he said.
Klitschko, 36, a former WBC champion, lost to current mayor Leonid Chernovetsky in 2006 and has served in the city legislature since then. After Ukraine`s parliament called early elections amid a corruption scandal surrounding Chernovetsky, Klitschko entered the race again last month. The election is May 25.
Klitschko seeks more international investment in Kyiv, the country`s capital, but said it won`t happen until corruption is controlled and investors can feel confident pouring money into the city.
"Right now, we develop a democracy," Klitschko said. "It`s a very young democracy in the Ukraine."
Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Klitschko, who has a doctorate in physical science and sports, recalled growing up around billboards of Soviet propaganda. His first paying job was as a tour guide in Kyiv as a 14-year-old.
Klitschko`s younger brother, Wladimir, is the current IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champ.
"Right now, I`m fighting for the city," Vitali said. "I`m fighting for the people in my city."