Vitali Klitschko

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Name: Vitali Klitschko
Alias: Dr. Ironfist
Birth Name: Vitali Volodymyrovych Klychko
Hometown: Kiev, Ukraine
Birthplace: Belovodskoye, Kyrgyzstan
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 201cm
Reach: 203cm
Pro Boxer: Record
Amateur Boxer: Record

Vitali Klitschko (Ukrainian: Vitaliy Volodymyrovych Klychko) is a former WBO, WBC and Ring Magazine World Heavyweight Champion.

Amateur Career

  • Klitschko won 195 of 210 amateur bouts.
  • 1994 Ukrainian Super Heavyweight representative at the World Cup in Bangkok, Thailand. Results:
  • 1994 Super Heavyweight Silver Medalist at the Military World Championships in Tunis, Tunisia.
  • 1995 Super Heavyweight Silver Medalist at the World Championships in Berlin, Germany. Results:
  • 1995 Super Heavyweight Gold Medalist at the Military World Championships in Ariccia, Italy. Results:

Doping Suspension

Klitschko tested positive for a banned substance in 1996, received a two-year suspension and was thrown off the Ukrainian boxing team for the Atlanta Olympics. He had planned to box at super heavyweight while his younger brother, Wladimir Klitschko, planned to compete as a heavyweight. Wladimir, who was struggling to make weight, took over the super heavyweight slot and went on to win the gold medal.

Klitschko revealed in his 2004 autobiography that he turned to steroids after aggravating an old leg injury he had sustained in a kickboxing tournament. He said he went to a Ukrainian doctor who gave him something that would heal it, but he didn't check the doping list.

Professional Record

Championship Record

Professional Career

Klitschko knocked out Herbie Hide in two rounds to win the WBO heavyweight title on June 26, 1999. He lost the title to Chris Byrd in his third defense on April 1, 2000. Klitschko, comfortably ahead on points, retired after the ninth round due to an injured shoulder. It was his first loss after 27 consecutive knockout wins.

Klitschko fought Lennox Lewis for the WBC and Ring Magazine heavyweight titles on June 21, 2003. He was a late substitute for Kirk Johnson, who pulled out of the fight because of an injury. Klitschko gave Lewis a much tougher fight than most expected. However, Lewis opened bad cuts over both of Klitschko's eyes, which led to the fight being stopped after the sixth round, despite Vitali's protests. Klitschko was ahead 58-56 on all three official scorecards.

After Lewis retired, Klitschko stopped Corrie Sanders in eight rounds to win the vacant WBC and Ring Magazine heavyweight titles on April 24, 2004. Klitschko's first title defense was an eighth-round TKO of Danny Williams on December 11, 2004. He was then scheduled to face Hasim Rahman on April 30, 2005, but the fight was postponed when Klitschko pulled a muscle in his upper thigh while jogging. The fight was rescheduled for June 18, but pushed back again because the thigh muscle wasn't fully healed. The next date, July 23, had to be changed after Klitschko had minor back surgery. The fourth date for the fight was November 12, but Klitschko then injured his knee while sparring and had to have surgery. Promoter Bob Arum said the fight could be rescheduled for March 2006, but Klitschko, frustrated by his injuries, announced his retirement on November 9, 2005.

At the WBC gala on December 20, 2005, Klitschko was appointed "Champion Emeritus." The status gave him the right to become the "immediate mandatory official challenger" if he chose to fight again.

Klitschko returned to the ring to face Samuel Peter for the WBC heavyweight title on October 11, 2008. It was his first fight in 46 months. Klitschko dominated the fight, and Peter retired in his corner after the eighth round.

During his second reign as WBC heavyweight champion, Klitschko successfully defended the title nine times. He defeated Juan Carlos Gomez, Chris Arreola, Kevin Johnson, Albert Sosnowski, Shannon Briggs, Odlanier Solis, Tomasz Adamek, Dereck Chisora and Manuel Charr.

On December 16, 2013, Klitschko vacated the WBC heavyweight title. He said he doesn't expect to fight again as he pursues a presidential bid in his home country of Ukraine. The WBC once again named him "Champion Emeritus."

Political Career

Klitschko ran for mayor of Kiev and the Ukrainian parliament in 2006. The elections were held on March 26. He campaigned on an anti-corruption platform.

He was a supporter of Viktor Yushchenko and his party, Our Ukraine. Klitschko was seen at Yushchenko's side during the 2004 Orange Revolution, which ultimately resulted in Yushchenko's election as president.

Klitschko received 26% of the vote in the mayoral election. He was ahead of incumbent mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko, but trailed businessman Leonid Chernovetskiy. Klitschko's aspirations for parliament were also unsuccessful, as his party received less than 3% of the vote, which was necessary to earn representation in parliament. However, Klitschko was elected as a people's deputy to Kiev City Council.

Klitschko is the head of the UDAR (Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform) political party, which he founded on April 24, 2010.

He won election to Ukraine's parliament on December 15, 2012.

On October 24, 2013, Klitschko announced that he will run for president of Ukraine in 2015.

On March 29, 2014, Klitschko pulled out of the presidential race and announced that he would run for mayor of Kiev.

Klitschko was elected mayor of Kiev on May 25, 2014. He received 57.6 percent of the vote. On November 16, 2015, Klitschko was re-elected with 66.5 percent of the vote.

Titles Held

The Klitschko Brothers
  • WBO Inter-Continental Heavyweight Title (1998)
  • EBU (European) Heavyweight Title (1998-1999, 2000)
  • WBO Heavyweight Title (1999-2000)
  • WBA Intercontinental Heavyweight Title (2001-2003)
  • WBC Heavyweight Title (2004-2005, 2008-2013)

Miscellaneous Info

  • Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko are the first brothers to hold world heavyweight titles at the same time.
  • After Wladimir defeated David Haye on July 2, 2011, all the major heavyweight belts were simultaneously owned by the Klitschko brothers. Wladimir held the IBF, WBO and WBA titles, and Vitali held the WBC title.
  • Vitali has defeated 15 fighters for the World Heavyweight Title, the fifth most in heavyweight history (tied with Lennox Lewis).
  • Son of an Air Force Colonel.
  • Began boxing at the age of 17.
  • Six-time kickboxing world champion, twice as an amateur and four times as a professional. His record was 34-1 with 22 knockouts.
  • Earned a Ph.D. in Sports Science

External Links

Preceded by:
Herbie Hide
WBO Heavyweight Champion
1999 Jun 26 – 2000 Apr 1
Succeeded by:
Chris Byrd
Preceded by:
Lennox Lewis
WBC Heavyweight Champion
2004 Apr 24 – 2005 Nov 9
Succeeded by:
Hasim Rahman
Preceded by:
Samuel Peter
WBC Heavyweight Champion
2008 Oct 11 – 2013 Dec 16
Succeeded by:
Bermane Stiverne