Wladimir Klitschko

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Wladimir Klitschko
Klitschko in 2010
Native name Володи́мир Кличко́
Born (1976-03-25) 25 March 1976 (age 41)
Semipalatinsk, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union (now Kazakhstan)
Nationality Ukrainian
Partner(s) Hayden Panettiere
Children 1
Boxing career
Nickname(s) Dr. Steelhammer
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)[1]
Reach 206 cm (81 in)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 68
Wins 64
Wins by KO 53
Losses 4

Wladimir Wladimirowitsch Klitschko[2] (Ukrainian: Володи́мир Володи́мирович Кличко́; Volodymyr Volodymyrovych Klychko; born 25 March 1976) is a Ukrainian professional boxer. He is a former world heavyweight champion of three major sanctioning bodies, having held the titles of the WBA, IBF, and WBO (twice); additionally he has held the IBO, Ring magazine, and lineal heavyweight titles. A strategic and cerebral boxer, Klitschko is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time,[3] as well as among the hardest punching knockout artists in the history of the division;[4] his strong jab, straight right hand and left hook being his most formidable weapons.[5]

As an amateur, Klitschko represented Ukraine at the 1996 Olympics, winning a gold medal in the super-heavyweight division. After turning professional later that year, he defeated Chris Byrd in 2000 to win the WBO heavyweight title. Klitschko's first reign as champion ended in an upset knockout loss to Corrie Sanders in 2003, which was followed by another knockout loss to Lamon Brewster in 2004. It was during this time that Klitschko hired Emanuel Steward as his trainer, which began an eight-year partnership that lasted until Steward's death in 2012. In particular, Steward was credited with Klitschko's transition from an aggressive puncher to a more defensively-oriented boxer, much as he had done with Lennox Lewis in 1995 to 2003.

In 2006, Klitschko regained a portion of the world heavyweight championship after stopping Chris Byrd in a rematch to win the IBF and IBO titles. He won the WBO title for a second time by defeating then-unbeaten champion Sultan Ibragimov in 2008. Following his defeat of Ruslan Chagaev in 2009, Klitschko was awarded the Ring and lineal titles, and lastly he won the WBA title from David Haye in 2011. Until his defeat by Tyson Fury in 2015, Klitschko was also recognized as champion by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, while the WBA recognized him as one of its "Super champions", a distinction given to boxers who hold that title in addition to those by other sanctioning bodies in the same division.

Overall, he became the second longest reigning heavyweight champion of all time, and has the second most successful title defenses total of any heavyweight boxer with 23 (including his initial reign as WBO champion), behind Joe Louis (25) and ahead of Larry Holmes (20) and Muhammad Ali (19). On 14 September 2015, BoxRec rated Klitschko as the number one fighter in the world, pound for pound. On 15 November 2014, he reached a career peak of number two on The Ring's pound for pound list. Klitschko has fought in 28 heavyweight title fights, more than any heavyweight champion in the sport's history. He also holds the record of having defeated the most boxers with an undefeated record, at 12, and has also defeated ten current or former world champions throughout his career.

Wladimir's older brother, Vitali Klitschko, is also a former WBC, WBO, and The Ring heavyweight champion. From 2006 until 2015, Wladimir and Vitali dominated heavyweight boxing, a period typically known as the "Klitschko Era" of the division.[6][7]

Early life[edit]

Klitschko was born in Semipalatinsk, Kazakh SSR (now Semey, Kazakhstan).[8][9][10] His father, Vladimir Rodionovich Klichko (1947–2011), was a Soviet Air Force major general and a military attaché of Ukraine in Germany; he was also one of the commanders in charge of cleaning up the effects of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and was afterward diagnosed with cancer. Wladimir's mother is Nadezhda Ulyanovna. He is the younger brother of former WBC, WBO and Ring magazine heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, the current Mayor of Kiev.[11]

Amateur career[edit]

In the early 1990s, Klitschko was coached in Poland's Gwardia Warszawa boxing club, where, according to Jerzy Kulej, "He and his brother used to demolish our boys."[12] In 1993, he won the Junior European Championships as a heavyweight. In 1994, he received 2nd place at the Junior World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, losing to Cuban Michel Lopez in the finals.[13] In 1995, he won the gold medal at the Military Championships in Ariccia, Italy, defeating Luan Krasniqi, who he had lost to in the third round of the World Championships in Berlin, Germany earlier that year. In 1996, he captured 2nd place as a Super Heavyweight at the European Championships in Vejle, Denmark losing to Alexei Lezin in the finals. He defeated Lezin later that year in the semi finals at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.[14] He had an amateur record of 134–6.[15]

Known as "Dr. Steelhammer", he first achieved world attention at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. He defeated Paea Wolfgramm to win the Super-Heavyweight gold medal.[citation needed] He is announced as "Dr. Steelhammer", a nickname similar to his brother, Vitali, who goes by "Dr. Ironfist." Both brothers hold PhDs.[16][17]

Professional career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Klitschko turned professional with Universum Box-Promotion in Hamburg under the tutelage of Fritz Sdunek, often being featured on fight cards alongside his elder brother Vitali. After building an undefeated record of 24–0 with 22 KO's, he suffered his first loss to 24–13–1 Ross Puritty, in what was Klitschko's first and only professional fight in Ukraine. Klitschko's coach, Fritz Sdunek, stopped the fight.[citation needed] On 18 March 2000, Klitschko fought Paea Wolfgramm, whom he fought previously in the 1996 Super Heavyweight Olympic Finals. In their professional rematch, Klitschko knocked Wolfgramm out in the first round.

Klitschko vs. Byrd; five title defenses[edit]

On 14 October 2000, in Cologne, Germany's Kölnarena, Klitschko won the WBO Heavyweight Championship from American Chris Byrd by a wide unanimous decision by scores of: 120–106, 119–107, and 118–108, flooring his opponent twice. Byrd had previously upset his elder brother Vitali (who pulled out injured during their bout).[18]

Klitschko registered five successful title defenses, all by TKO over: Derrick Jefferson, Charles Shufford, former IBF champion Frans Botha, former WBO champion Ray Mercer and Jameel McCline.[19][20][21][22][23]

Klitschko vs. Sanders, Brewster[edit]

Klitschko in 2004

Klitschko suffered an upset TKO loss to Corrie Sanders on 8 March 2003 in Hanover, Germany. Sanders dropped Klitschko twice in the opening round and scored two more knockdowns in the second round before the bout was stopped by the official. The fight was named The Ring magazine Upset of the Year for 2003.[24]

After winning two minor bouts in Germany and enlisting the services of legendary boxing trainer Emanuel Steward, Klitschko again fought for the vacated WBO title on 10 April 2004, in Las Vegas, against Lamon Brewster. Klitschko sent Brewster to the canvas in the fourth round; however, things turned around in the fifth when Brewster's punches began backing him up. Not defending himself and leaning into ropes for support, Klitschko took a standing eight count. On unsteady legs, Klitschko fell to the canvas after the bell and the referee stopped the fight for his safety.[25]

Klitschko vs. Williamson, Castillo, Peter[edit]

Following his loss to Brewster, Klitschko began his journey back towards the top of the heavyweight division. First, he defeated DaVarryl Williamson by technical decision.[citation needed] The fight was halted because of a Klitschko cut caused by an accidental headbutt. He then knocked out undefeated Cuban contender Eliseo Castillo. Klitschko then signed to fight undefeated power puncher Samuel Peter in an IBF and WBO eliminator. Though Peter scored three knockdowns (two in round 5, one in round 10) Klitschko withstood the Nigerian's power and went on to outbox Peter for the majority of the rounds.[26]

Klitschko vs. Byrd II, Brock, Austin[edit]

On 22 April 2006, in Mannheim, Germany, Klitschko defeated Chris Byrd for a second time, this time by technical knockout, in a contest for the IBF and IBO Heavyweight Championships. Referee Wayne Kelly stopped the fight in the seventh round after a knockdown. Byrd beat the count, but his face was battered and bloody, and the fight was waved off.[27]

He returned in November, defeating Calvin Brock at Madison Square Garden. Klitschko then defeated mandatory challenger Ray Austin on 10 March 2007, at the SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany by a second-round knockout with four consecutive left hooks to Austin's head.[28]

Klitschko vs. Brewster II, Ibragimov, Thompson[edit]

Klitschko then avenged one of his previous losses as he defeated Lamon Brewster on 7 July 2007, in Cologne, Germany. Brewster's corner asked the referee to stop the fight at the end of the sixth round. It was later revealed that Klitschko fought most of the fight with a broken middle finger on his left hand.[29]

Klitschko defeated WBO Heavyweight Champion Sultan Ibragimov at Madison Square Garden in New York City on 23 February 2008 to unify the IBF, IBO and WBO Heavyweight titles. The Klitschko-Ibragimov fight was the first heavyweight unification since Holyfield-Lewis in 1999. The unification clash with Ibragimov proved to be a huge disappointment for fans. Klitschko was very dominant from the first bell. He backed Ibragimov into a corner and proceeded to push down Ibragimov's glove with his left hand so he could not throw a punch. Though Klitschko won every single round, the crowd in New York City began booing after the second round. The boos and jeers increased as the fight progressed in the same fashion. Ibragimov's corner was almost silent from the sixth round onwards, unable to give their man any meaningful advice. Klitschko did not fight again in the United States until 2015 where he defeated Bryant Jennings.[30]

On 12 July 2008, at the Color Line Arena in Hamburg, Klitschko faced mandatory challenger Tony Thompson, in a good action fight. Klitschko controlled the fight with his jab and right hand; Thompson had his moments but was outworked and out skilled for the majority of the rounds. Klitschko floored Thompson with a right hand in the 11th round and Thompson didn't beat the count.[31]

Klitschko vs. Rahman, Chagaev, Chambers[edit]

Klitschko vs. Rahman, 2008

Klitschko was scheduled to defend his titles against Alexander Povetkin later in 2008,[32] but on 25 October, Povetkin withdrew from the fight due to an ankle injury. Instead, Klitschko faced Hasim Rahman on 13 December 2008 and won by TKO. This was the third time Klitschko fought at the SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany. He dominated the fight, winning every round while making good use of his left jab. From the first bell the difference in physical strength was profound. Rahman seemed unable to withstand Klitschko's punch power. The referee finally called a stop to the one-sided contest in the 7th round after Rahman failed to respond to a series of good shots.

Klitschko was scheduled to face David Haye, who pulled out within weeks of the fight complaining of a back injury. Salvaging the 20 June 2009 date and venue, Klitschko instead retained the IBF, WBO and IBO Heavyweight titles and also won the vacant Ring magazine heavyweight title by defeating replacement opponent and Ring No. 3 ranked Ruslan Chagaev when Chagaev retired after an onslaught of punches towards the end of the ninth round. As Chagaev was WBA Champion, the title was not on the line.

Klitschko's win over Chagaev was seen as one of his most impressive performances in the ring. He controlled the tempo of the fight from the very beginning and hit Chagaev at will with the jab. He hit Chagaev with several hard right crosses and never allowed him to build momentum. Towards the end of the second round Klitschko caught Chagaev off-balance and sent him to the canvas. Chagaev recovered but was dominated thereafter. This win had added significance because even though the WBA title was not on the line, many saw Klitschko as the rightful champion.

On 9 December 2009, Klitschko's management group, K2 Promotions confirmed that a bout with Eddie Chambers has been agreed to take place in Germany on 20 March 2010. This mandatory title defense, originally scheduled for December 2009 had to be delayed due to a hand injury that Klitschko sustained in training that required surgery.

Klitschko defeated Chambers by knockout five seconds before the end of the final round.[33] He was criticized between rounds by his trainer Emanuel Steward for not fighting aggressively enough and began punching more often during the final round than he had done before which eventually led to his left hook hitting Chambers to the forehead. The punch made Chambers fall forwards and lost consciousness for an extended period of time. The referee stepped in and called an end to the contest instantly.[citation needed]

Klitschko vs. Peter II[edit]

Klitschko in 2010

Following the match with Chambers, a unification fight between Klitschko and David Haye, who, as of May 2009, had held the WBA title, appeared to be in the offing. Klitschko called out the Briton on YouTube in April 2010, stating, "I want to send this message to boxing fans and directly to David Haye. David, you've bitched out on fighting both Klitschko brothers twice already and now's the time to make it happen. On behalf of the boxing fans around the world, I am officially calling you out to fight me. You can't run away from me forever and you need to follow through with this fight if you want to be respected. I'm ready. What're you waiting for?"[34][35]

Haye's trainer, Adam Booth, indicated that Haye would be willing to accept the challenge.[36] Both sides began negotiations for a potential fight and the bout was targeted for September.[37] As the negotiations continued to move forward,[38] the unification fight between Klitschko and Haye was expected to take place in Germany rather than England.[39][40] The IBF set a deadline to end negotiations on 17 May. A few days before the deadline to make the unification bout, Haye said he was interested in fighting the older Klitschko, Vitali, rather than Wladimir.[41] The fight did not materialize and Klitschko was set to take on mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin. On 17 May 2010, the 30-day period of negotiation began for Klitschko to defend his championship against Povetkin.[42] Within this period, discussions to make a fight with Haye were still ongoing.[43]

The bout between Klitschko and Povetkin was initially tentatively scheduled to take place in Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany, on 11 September 2010. In July 2010, it was confirmed that the bout would be taking place in Frankfurt.[44] However, Povetkin, under trainer Teddy Atlas, backed out of the $2 million purse fight.[citation needed] Samuel Peter replaced Povetkin for the scheduled fight. Klitschko faced Peter for a second time, as they had fought in 2005 previously. Peter fought Klitschko on 11 September 2010, for the Ukrainian's IBF, WBO and IBO Heavyweight titles. Klitschko won again, by knocking out Peter in the 10th round.[45][46] Peter weighed in at 241 pounds, two pounds lighter than their first fight. Klitschko came in at a career heavy of 247 pounds. Both fighters had promised knockouts in the pre-fight build up. Peter started the fight very aggressively and caught Klitschko with a good left hook in the opening minute, although Klitschko ended the round well. Peter was caught with three hard right-hands in the second round, one of which seemed to stun him. Peter tried to duck under the Klitschko jab, but was being tied up on the inside. After four rounds, the fight became one-sided in Klitschko's favour. Peter's right eye was closing and he was taking heavy punishment. After the ninth round, Peter's trainer Abel Sanchez said he would give him one more round. Emmanuel Steward also implored Klitschko to be more aggressive. Peter swung wildly in the tenth and Klitschko put him down with a concussive combination. Referee Robert Byrd did not start a count and waved the fight off, awarding Klitschko the win by knockout. Klitschko, however, was set to fight Dereck Chisora on 11 December, but the fight was later called off on 8 December due to Klitschko tearing a muscle in his abdomen.[47][48]

Klitschko vs. Haye[edit]

On 5 January 2011, it was announced that Dereck Chisora would get his fight with Klitschko. This enraged David Haye's trainer Adam Booth, who described the move as a "disgrace" on a heated live phone-in with Sky Sports News. Booth alleged Haye had met every single one of Klitschko's demands.[49] The fight against Dereck Chisora was rescheduled for 30 April 2011 and was going to take place in SAP Arena, Mannheim.[50] However, on 4 March, it was announced that Klitschko had pulled out of the fight due to not being fully recovered from a torn abdominal muscle. On 5 March, it was instead announced that the highly anticipated fight against David Haye would take place on 2 July 2011.[51] The fight was contingent on Klitschko's recovery from a torn abdominal muscle injury. The contract was written so that if Klitschko was not fully healed, then Haye would fight his brother, Vitali.[52]

Klitschko fought David Haye in a heavyweight unification fight for the WBA (Super), WBO, IBF, IBO and The Ring Heavyweight titles. The fight took place at the Imtech Arena, Hamburg, Germany on 2 July 2011. Klitschko and Haye agreed to a 50-50 split of the purse and Haye was allotted 7000 seats at the venue.[53][54][55] Klitschko dominated the fight, statistically outlanding Haye nearly 2 to 1. Klitschko won by unanimous decision then the three judges scored it 118–108, 117–109, and 116–110 all in favour of Klitschko. Haye revealed afterwards that he had a broken toe.[56]

After winning the WBA title, all of the major Heavyweight titles were in the hands of the Klitschko family. Wladimir and Vitali became the first and only pair of brothers to hold all of the heavyweight titles simultaneously.[57]

Klitschko vs. Mormeck, Thompson II, Wach[edit]

On 6 October 2011, Klitschko announced his next fight. It was originally to be on 10 December 2011 against the former two time unified World Cruiserweight Champion, French Jean-Marc Mormeck. The fight would have taken place at Esprit Arena, Düsseldorf.[58] It was to be Wladimir's first title defense of the WBA (Super) belt, he won against David Haye. The fight was billed Alle Gürtel. Ein Champion. (All belts. One Champion).[59] However, on 5 December 2011, the fight was cancelled because Wladimir checked into a hospital to have a kidney stone removed. After the removal operation he suffered from fever and inflammation.[60] The fight was rescheduled for 3 March 2012, with Wladimir Klitschko knocking out Jean-Marc Mormeck in the fourth round. On 7 July, he faced Tony Thompson in a rematch in Stade de Suisse Wankdorf, Bern, Switzerland. Tony Thompson had been named as Wladimir Klitschko's mandatory defense by the IBF.[61]

On 7 July 2012, Klitschko faced Tony Thompson for a second time who had worked his way into a mandatory position. Klitschko stopped Thompson in the sixth round after putting him to the canvas with flush right hand shot. It was his 12th consecutive title defense, the 3rd most in heavyweight history.[62]

Klitschko defended his belts in Hamburg on 10 November 2012 via one sided unanimous decision. His opponent for the fight was former undefeated 27–0 (15 KO) polish contender Mariusz Wach. The fight with Wach was the first time in his 16-year pro career he had faced an opponent taller than himself.[63] At 2.02 metres tall, with a reach of 2.08 metres and weighing 251 pounds, the Kraków-born Wach, who is based in the United States, is 4 centimetres taller than Klitschko with a reach two centimeters longer.[64] The fight with Wach was the first fight under Johnathon Banks' coaching.[65]

Klitschko vs. Pianeta, Povetkin, Leapai[edit]

Wladimir and Vitali with every title in the heavyweight division, 2012. Left to right: The Ring, IBF, IBO, WBO, WBC, WBA.

At the end of 2012, the World Boxing Association ordered its super-champion Klitschko to fight WBA regular-champion Alexander Povetkin of Russia by 24 February 2013,[66] but the two sides couldn't reach an agreement.[67] WBA let Klitschko have another voluntary title defence before taking on Povetkin, but there should have been a signed contract with Povetkin before 28 February, with a new deadline for their bout no later than 31 July.[68][69][70]

Klitschko took on another undefeated contender, Italian Francesco Pianeta, on 4 May. From the start, he systematically broke down the Italian, consistently landing flush straight right hand shots. He dropped Pianeta with a right hand in round four, a left hand put Pianeta down in the fifth; the fight ended at 2:52 in round six when Klitschko put Pianeta down for the third time.[71]

Klitschko vs. Povetkin took place in October 2013, his third undefeated consecutive opponent. The bout was marred with over 160 clinches, most initiated by Klitschko, followed by several repeated roughhouse tactics throughout the match against Povetkin. This included leaning on his opponent and pushing his head down and throwing Povetkin to the canvas, which resulted in the referee scoring some as knockdowns. Klitschko won by unanimous decision scoring a knockdown in round 2 from a flush jab, and 3 knockdowns in round 7 including one prompted from a big right uppercut. All 3 judges scored it 119–104 on the scorecards.

In his next fight, Klitschko defended his titles against WBO mandatory challenger Alex Leapai[72] on 26 April 2014 in Germany.[73] He knocked Leapai down three times, and referee Eddie Cotton stopped the fight with fifty-five seconds remaining in the fifth round.[74][75]

Klitschko vs. Pulev, Jennings[edit]

On 15 November 2014 he faced undefeated Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev for the IBF title in Hamburg. For Pulev, only the IBF title was on the line because he chose not to pay the sanctioning fees of the other organizations.[76] In front of a sellout crowd of 15,000, Klitschko knocked Pulev down twice in the first round and once in the third round, before knocking Pulev out on a thunderous left hook to end the match.[77]

He then faced undefeated American heavyweight Bryant Jennings on April 25, 2015 at Madison Square Garden, his first time at the arena and the United States since 2008, defending his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring heavyweight titles. He defeated Jennings by effective use of his jab and nullifying Jennings' offensive game on the inside, especially by holding Jennings, which resulted in the referee deducting a point in the 10th round for excessive holding, although Klitschko did end up winning via unanimous decision with scores of 116–111, 116–111, and 118–109.[78]

Klitschko vs. Fury[edit]

Klitschko was scheduled to take on undefeated heavyweight contender Tyson Fury, the WBO mandatory challenger, on 24 October 2015 in an unprecedented 28th heavyweight world title appearance. On 25 September 2015, Klitschko postponed the fight, citing a calf injury. It was rescheduled for Saturday, November 28, 2015.[79] In a very lactic affair, Klitschko lost the fight by unanimous decision, with scores of 116–111, 115–112, and 115–112 all in favor of Fury. It was the first defeat Klitschko had suffered in over ten years and marked the end of the so-called 'Klitschko Era' referring to the time period where both Klitschko brothers (particularly Wladimir) dominated the division.[80]

Klitschko was entitled to a rematch with Fury as part of the contract for their first fight. The rematch was eventually announced on 8 April 2016 and set to take place in Fury's home town at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England on 9 July 2016.[81] However, Tyson Fury announced via a YouTube video that the fight would be postponed due to an ankle sprain he had received during training. He apologised to his fans and confirmed the fight would be rescheduled for a later date. On Thursday 7 July, Fury announced via his Twitter account that the rescheduled fight would take place on October 29 at Manchester Arena. On September 23, Fury again postponed the fight after being declared "medically unfit".[82]

Klitschko vs. Joshua[edit]

Days after the Fury rematch was called off, Klitschko was approached by Eddie Hearn, promoter of IBF champion Anthony Joshua, to fight on the November 28 date they had set for a second defence. Terms seemed to have been agreed for a $30m fight showdown although an initial contract was yet to be signed.[83] After Fury gave up his world titles, it was said that Klitschko wanted the WBA title up for grabs in the potential match up against Joshua and waiting for approval, which the WBA kept postponing.[84] A reason as to why the WBA was delaying sanctioning the fight was due them having a legal settlement with Lucas Browne so he could fight for the vacant title next. Klitschko then turned his attention to fighting Browne instead on December 10, a date his team had an arena set for in Germany.[85] On October 24, Klitschko suffered a minor calf injury which would rule him out until 2017. Talks between the Klitschko camp and Hearn remained active with a fight set for the first part of 2017.[86][87] On November 2, the WBA finally agreed to sanction a fight for their super title as long as Joshua defeats Eric Molina in December 2016.[88]

On December 10, immediately after Joshua had defeated Molina in Manchester Arena, Klitschko was invited into the ring by Hearn. It was announced that Klitschko and Joshua would face each other for the IBF and WBA Super titles at Wembley Stadium, London, on the April 29, 2017.[89] WBA president Gilberto Mendoza confirmed that the winner will have to face mandatory challenger Luis Ortiz next, with deadlines due to be set after the unification fight.[90][91][91] A day later the IBF announced the winner must fight their mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. Because of this clashing with the WBA enforcing their mandatory, it was believed that either Joshua or Klitschko would have to vacate a title.[92] In January 2017, Eddie Hearn announced that over 80,000 tickets had been sold, a new box office record, overtaking Carl Froch vs. George Groves II. He put a request in for 5,000 more tickets to be made available.[93][94]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
68 fights 64 wins 4 losses
By knockout 53 3
By decision 9 1
By disqualification 2 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
69 N/A N/A United Kingdom Anthony Joshua N/A – (12) 29 Apr 2017 United Kingdom Wembley Stadium, London, England For IBF, vacant WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight titles
68 Loss 64–4 United Kingdom Tyson Fury UD 12 28 Nov 2015 Germany Esprit Arena, Düsseldorf, Germany Lost WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles
67 Win 64–3 United States Bryant Jennings UD 12 25 Apr 2015 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US Retained WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles
66 Win 63–3 Bulgaria Kubrat Pulev KO 5 (12), 2:11 15 Nov 2014 Germany O2 World, Hamburg, Germany Retained WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles
65 Win 62–3 Australia Alex Leapai TKO 5 (12), 2:05 26 Apr 2014 Germany König Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Germany Retained WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles
64 Win 61–3 Russia Alexander Povetkin UD 12 5 Oct 2013 Russia Olympic Stadium, Moscow, Russia Retained WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles
63 Win 60–3 Italy Francesco Pianeta TKO 6 (12), 2:52 4 May 2013 Germany SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany Retained WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles
62 Win 59–3 Poland Mariusz Wach UD 12 10 Nov 2012 Germany O2 World, Hamburg, Germany Retained WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles
61 Win 58–3 United States Tony Thompson TKO 6 (12), 1:12 7 Jul 2012 Switzerland Stade de Suisse, Bern, Switzerland Retained WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles
60 Win 57–3 France Jean-Marc Mormeck KO 4 (12), 1:12 3 Mar 2012 Germany Esprit Arena, Düsseldorf, Germany Retained WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles
59 Win 56–3 United Kingdom David Haye UD 12 2 Jul 2011 Germany Imtech Arena, Hamburg, Germany Retained IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles;
Won WBA (Super) heavyweight title
58 Win 55–3 Nigeria Samuel Peter KO 10 (12), 1:22 11 Sep 2010 Germany Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt, Germany Retained IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles
57 Win 54–3 United States Eddie Chambers KO 12 (12), 2:55 20 Mar 2010 Germany Esprit Arena, Düsseldorf, Germany Retained IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles
56 Win 53–3 Uzbekistan Ruslan Chagaev RTD 9 (12), 3:00 20 Jun 2009 Germany Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany Retained IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles;
Won vacant The Ring and lineal heavyweight titles
55 Win 52–3 United States Hasim Rahman TKO 7 (12), 0:44 13 Dec 2008 Germany SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany Retained IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles
54 Win 51–3 United States Tony Thompson KO 11 (12), 1:38 12 Jul 2008 Germany Color Line Arena, Hamburg, Germany Retained IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles
53 Win 50–3 Russia Sultan Ibragimov UD 12 23 Feb 2008 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US Retained IBF and IBO heavyweight titles;
Won WBO heavyweight title
52 Win 49–3 United States Lamon Brewster RTD 6 (12), 3:00 7 Jul 2007 Germany Kölnarena, Cologne, Germany Retained IBF and IBO heavyweight titles
51 Win 48–3 United States Ray Austin KO 2 (12), 1:23 10 Mar 2007 Germany SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany Retained IBF and IBO heavyweight titles
50 Win 47–3 United States Calvin Brock TKO 7 (12), 2:10 11 Nov 2006 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US Retained IBF and IBO heavyweight titles
49 Win 46–3 United States Chris Byrd TKO 7 (12), 0:41 22 Apr 2006 Germany SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany Won IBF and vacant IBO heavyweight titles
48 Win 45–3 Nigeria Samuel Peter UD 12 24 Sep 2005 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US Won NABF and vacant WBO–NABO heavyweight titles
47 Win 44–3 Cuba Eliseo Castillo TKO 4 (10), 2:51 23 Apr 2005 Germany Westfalenhallen, Dortmund, Germany
46 Win 43–3 United States DaVarryl Williamson TD 5 (10), 3:00 2 Oct 2004 United States Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, US Split TD after Klitschko sustained a cut from an accidental head clash
45 Loss 42–3 United States Lamon Brewster TKO 5 (12), 3:00 10 Apr 2004 United States Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, US For vacant WBO heavyweight title
44 Win 42–2 United States Danell Nicholson TKO 4 (12), 1:44 20 Dec 2003 Germany Ostseehalle, Kiel, Germany Retained WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title
43 Win 41–2 Argentina Fabio Eduardo Moli KO 1 (12), 1:49 30 Aug 2003 Germany Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany Won vacant WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title
42 Loss 40–2 South Africa Corrie Sanders TKO 2 (12), 0:27 8 Mar 2003 Germany Preussag Arena, Hanover, Germany Lost WBO heavyweight title
41 Win 40–1 United States Jameel McCline RTD 10 (12), 3:00 7 Dec 2002 United States Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, US Retained WBO heavyweight title
40 Win 39–1 United States Ray Mercer TKO 6 (12), 1:08 29 Jun 2002 United States Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US Retained WBO heavyweight title
39 Win 38–1 South Africa Francois Botha TKO 8 (12), 0:47 16 Mar 2002 Germany Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, Stuttgart, Germany Retained WBO heavyweight title
38 Win 37–1 United States Charles Shufford TKO 6 (12), 2:55 4 Aug 2001 United States Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, US Retained WBO heavyweight title
37 Win 36–1 United States Derrick Jefferson TKO 2 (12), 2:09 24 Mar 2001 Germany Rudi-Sedlmayer-Halle, Munich, Germany Retained WBO heavyweight title
36 Win 35–1 United States Chris Byrd UD 12 14 Oct 2000 Germany Kölnarena, Cologne, Germany Won WBO heavyweight title
35 Win 34–1 United States Monte Barrett TKO 7 (10), 2:40 15 Jul 2000 United Kingdom London Arena, London, England
34 Win 33–1 United States David Bostice TKO 2 (12), 1:27 29 Apr 2000 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US Retained WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title
33 Win 32–1 Tonga Paea Wolfgramm KO 1 (12), 1:30 18 Mar 2000 Germany Alsterdorfer Sporthalle, Hamburg, Germany Won vacant WBC International heavyweight title
32 Win 31–1 Hungary Lajos Eros KO 2 (12), 2:35 4 Dec 1999 Germany Stadionsporthalle, Hanover, Germany Retained WBA Inter-Continental and European heavyweight titles
31 Win 30–1 United States Phil Jackson KO 2 (10), 1:59 12 Nov 1999 United States The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, US
30 Win 29–1 Germany Axel Schulz TKO 8 (12), 2:42 25 Sep 1999 Germany Kölnarena, Cologne, Germany Retained WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title;
Won vacant European heavyweight title
29 Win 28–1 Zambia Joseph Chingangu RTD 4 (12), 3:00 17 Jul 1999 Germany Philips Halle, Düsseldorf, Germany Won vacant WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title
28 Win 27–1 United States Tony LaRosa TKO 1 (10), 2:57 22 May 1999 Hungary Sport Palace, Budapest, Hungary
27 Win 26–1 United States Everett Martin TKO 8 (8) 24 Apr 1999 Germany Circus Krone Building, Munich, Germany
26 Win 25–1 Montenegro Zoran Vujicic KO 1 (8), 1:02 13 Feb 1999 Germany Maritim Hotel, Stuttgart, Germany
25 Loss 24–1 United States Ross Puritty TKO 11 (12), 0:18 5 Dec 1998 Ukraine Palace of Sports, Kiev, Ukraine Lost WBC International heavyweight title
24 Win 24–0 United States Donnell Wingfield KO 1 (8) 14 Nov 1998 Germany Circus Krone Building, Munich, Germany
23 Win 23–0 United States Eli Dixon KO 3 (10), 2:26 3 Oct 1998 Germany Prinz-Garden Halle, Augsburg, Germany
22 Win 22–0 United States Steve Pannell KO 2 (10) 19 Sep 1998 Germany Arena Oberhausen, Oberhausen, Germany
21 Win 21–0 United States Carlos Monroe TKO 6 (10), 2:28 6 Aug 1998 United States Grand Casino Avoyelles, Marksville, Louisiana, US
20 Win 20–0 United States Najee Shaheed KO 1 (12) 10 Jul 1998 Germany Circus Krone Building, Munich, Germany Retained WBC International heavyweight title
19 Win 19–0 United States Cody Koch KO 4 (12) 23 May 1998 Germany Oberrheinhalle, Offenburg, Germany Retained WBC International heavyweight title
18 Win 18–0 United States Everett Martin TKO 8 13 Mar 1998 Germany Sporthalle Wandsbek, Hamburg, Germany
17 Win 17–0 United States Marcus McIntyre KO 3 (12) 14 Feb 1998 Germany Maritim Hotel, Stuttgart, Germany Won vacant WBC International heavyweight title
16 Win 16–0 United States Derrick Lampkins TKO 1 (8) 20 Dec 1997 Germany Oberrheinhalle, Offenburg, Germany
15 Win 15–0 Slovakia Ladislav Husarik TKO 3 (8) 13 Dec 1997 Germany Alsterdorfer Sporthalle, Hamburg, Germany
14 Win 14–0 United States Jerry Halstead TKO 2 (8) 6 Dec 1997 Germany Stadthalle, Offenbach am Main, Germany
13 Win 13–0 Mexico Marcos González KO 2 (8) 11 Oct 1997 Germany Stadthalle, Cottbus, Germany
12 Win 12–0 United States James Pritchard TKO 3 (8) 20 Sep 1997 Germany Tivoli Eissporthalle, Aachen, Germany
11 Win 11–0 Democratic Republic of the Congo Biko Botowamungu DQ 5 (8), 0:02 23 Aug 1997 Germany Maritim Hotel, Stuttgart, Germany Botowamungu disqualified after his cornermen refused to leave the ring
10 Win 10–0 United States Gilberto Williamson TKO 3 (8) 12 Jul 1997 Germany Berlet-Halle, Hagen, Germany
9 Win 9–0 Mexico Salvador Maciel KO 1 (8) 27 Jun 1997 Germany Oberrheinhalle, Offenburg, Germany
8 Win 8–0 United States Paul Ashley KO 2 (8), 1:25 13 Jun 1997 Germany Arena Oberhausen, Oberhausen, Germany
7 Win 7–0 United States Mark Wills KO 1 (8), 2:58 10 May 1997 Germany Ballsporthalle, Frankfurt, Germany
6 Win 6–0 United States Mark Young RTD 2 (6), 3:00 12 Apr 1997 Germany Eurogress, Aachen, Germany
5 Win 5–0 United States Carlos Monroe DQ 6 (6), 0:34 15 Feb 1997 Germany Stadthalle, Cottbus, Germany Monroe disqualified for a headbutt
4 Win 4–0 United States Troy Weida TKO 3 (6), 0:36 25 Jan 1997 Germany Maritim Hotel, Stuttgart, Germany
3 Win 3–0 United States Bill Corrigan TKO 1 (4), 1:21 21 Dec 1996 Germany Zoological Garden, Frankfurt, Germany
2 Win 2–0 United States Exum Speight TKO 2 (4), 1:54 30 Nov 1996 Austria Arena Nova, Wiener Neustadt, Austria
1 Win 1–0 Mexico Fabian Meza KO 1 (4), 1:35 16 Nov 1996 Germany Sporthalle Wandsbek, Hamburg, Germany Professional debut

Other interests[edit]

Klitschko appeared with Lennox Lewis in the motion picture Ocean's Eleven. He is an avid chess player, kitesurfer, golfer and humanitarian. Both Klitschko brothers have been involved in charitable activities dedicated to supporting the needs of children around the world. Both brothers have formed their own charities that contribute to children in need in Africa and South America. They won humanitarian awards for their "Sport for Good" projects in 2002 and 2007. In 2002, the Klitschko brothers announced that they had agreed to work specifically for UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), which supports more than 180 projects in 87 countries.[citation needed]

Klitschko is also a passionate golfer and was seen playing in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland. The tournament was played over three courses in 2008 including St Andrews, Carnoustie, and Kingsbarns in Fife and Angus. Klitschko was named curator of the Ukrainian pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale.[95] Klitschko starred in the music video for Chris Cornell's song "Part of Me" in 2008, alongside rising dancer Carlos Kerr Jr. and Method Man.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Klitschko brothers on a 2010 Ukrainian stamp

In 2009, Klitschko began dating American actress Hayden Panettiere.[96] Panettiere has appeared ringside at some of Klitschko's fights, including at Klitschko's 10th-round KO victory over Samuel Peter.[97] The couple broke up in May 2011, but as of April 2013 had rekindled their relationship.[96][98] In October 2013, Panettiere confirmed that she and Klitschko are engaged,[99] which had been rumoured since the summer.[100] On 6 December 2013, Klitschko and his fiancée Hayden Panettiere visited the Euromaidan-protests in Kiev.[101] His brother Vitali was one of the leading figures of these protests.[102][103] He and his fiancée addressed the crowds.[104] Panettiere and Klitschko's first child together, a daughter, was born in 2014.[105]

Some media reported that Klitschko had been previously dating Yvonne Catterfeld;[106] the relationship was played up in German comedies Keinohrhasen and Zweiohrküken. After Wladimir's photo session[107] held for Vanity Fair magazine with Karolína Kurková, she claimed to have a romantic relationship with the boxer.[108]

Klitschko speaks four languages: Ukrainian, Russian, English and German.[109]

Klitschko was friends with the late German heavyweight legend Max Schmeling.[109]

On 29 March 2012, during a charitable auction in Kiev, Ukraine, Wladimir auctioned off his 1996 Olympic gold medal to a buyer who bid $1 million. Klitschko said he would use the money to help the dreams of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian children. After the sale, the buyer immediately returned the medal out of respect for Wladimir and because he wanted it to remain with the Klitschko family.[110][111] Vitali and his brother never fought each other in a professional fight as their mother made them promise to never fight each other.[112]


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External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Ike Ibeabuchi
WBC International heavyweight champion
14 February 1998 – 5 December 1998
Succeeded by
Ross Puritty
Title last held by
Donovan Ruddock
WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight champion
17 July 1999 – October 2000
Title next held by
Vitali Klitschko
Title last held by
Vitali Klitschko
European heavyweight champion
25 September 1999 – October 2000
Title next held by
Vitali Klitschko
Title last held by
Ross Puritty
WBC International heavyweight champion
18 March 2000 – April 2000
Title next held by
Henry Akinwande
Title last held by
Vitali Klitschko
WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight champion
30 August 2003 – April 2004
Title next held by
Nikolay Valuev
Preceded by
Samuel Peter
NABF heavyweight champion
24 September 2005 – April 2006
Title next held by
Samuel Peter
Title last held by
DaVarryl Williamson
WBONABO heavyweight champion
24 September 2005 – April 2006
Title next held by
Shannon Briggs
Minor world boxing titles
Title last held by
Lennox Lewis
IBO heavyweight champion
22 April 2006 – 28 November 2015
Succeeded by
Tyson Fury
Major world boxing titles
Preceded by
Chris Byrd
WBO heavyweight champion
14 October 2000 – 8 March 2003
Succeeded by
Corrie Sanders
IBF heavyweight champion
22 April 2006 – 28 November 2015
Succeeded by
Tyson Fury
Preceded by
Sultan Ibragimov
WBO heavyweight champion
23 February 2008 – 28 November 2015
Title last held by
Vitali Klitschko
The Ring heavyweight champion
20 June 2009 – 28 November 2015
Title last held by
Lennox Lewis
Lineal heavyweight champion
20 June 2009 – 28 November 2015
Preceded by
David Haye
as champion
WBA heavyweight champion
Super title

2 July 2011 – 28 November 2015
Honorary boxing titles
Non-transferable title WBO Super champion
July 2008 – present
Non-transferable title
Adonis Stevenson
TKO1 Chad Dawson
ESPN Knockout of the Year
KO5 Kubrat Pulev

Canelo Álvarez
KO3 James Kirkland