Vitali Klitschko
Ukrainian boxer
Vitali Klitschko
Vitali Volodymyrovych Klitschko is a Ukrainian professional boxer and the reigning WBC heavyweight champion. He is a leader of the political party UDAR of Vitaliy Klychko and a member of the Ukrainian delegation to the Congress of the Council of Europe. He previously held the WBO and WBC titles. Klitschko is the first professional boxing world champion to hold a Ph.D. degree. Klitschko is known for his powerful punches and durable chin.
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Welterweight Rabii makes history with world gold
Yahoo News - over 1 year
Moroccan welterweight Mohammed Rabii capped the perfect end to a season by claiming gold in front of a packed house, including Wladimir and Vitali Kitschko, on the final night of the world championships in Doha on Thursday. Rabii, who was also named the World Series of Boxing's boxer of the year earlier in the week, outpunched Kazakhstan's Daniyar Yeleussinov to become world 69kg champion and the first Arab boxer to take gold in the history of the championships. The ecstatic 22-year-old promptly set-off on a spontaneous lap of honour at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena in Doha, to the delight of the huge number of Moroccans in the crowd.
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Yahoo News article
Suspect in shooting of German boxer Manuel Charr turns himself in
Yahoo News - over 1 year
The main suspect in the shooting of German heavyweight boxer Manuel Charr earlier this month has given himself up to police in Essen on Monday, according to reports. Charr, 30, who lost his world heavyweight title fight to ex-champion Vitali Klitscho in 2012 in a one-sided bout, was shot in the stomach following a late night argument in a kebab snack bar in the west German city on September 2. Despite undergoing emergency surgery, Charr has recovered and posted a video of him training in hospital last week on his Facebook account.
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Yahoo News article
Former champ Lewis offers tips to Klitschko challenger
Yahoo News - almost 2 years
By Larry Fine NEW YORK (Reuters) - Champion Wladimir Klitschko and challenger Bryant Jennings each had a special guest at Friday's weigh-in for their heavyweight title clash, with former champions Vitali Klitschko and Lennox Lewis on hand. The title holder's older brother was able to take a brief leave from his role as mayor of Kiev in war-torn Ukraine, while Lewis came to support his friend Jennings in Saturday's championship bout at Madison Square Garden. The 39-year-old Klitschko (63-3), making his 18th title defense in a nine-year run as heavyweight champion, tipped the scales in the lobby of the Garden at 241.6 pounds. Unbeaten American Bryant (19-0) weighed in at 226.8.
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Yahoo News article
Former Klitschko coach Sdunek dies at 67
Yahoo News - about 2 years
BERLIN (Reuters) - The former coach of heavyweight champions Vladimir and Vitali Klitschko, Fritz Sdunek, has died at the age of 67 following a heart attack, the boxers said on Tuesday. A former East German amateur boxer and coach, Sdunek had been working for the Universum boxing group in Hamburg since the mid-1990s, coaching the Ukrainian brothers to world titles before semi-retiring in 2009. "Today we received the sad news that our friend and former coach Fritz Sdunek has passed away," the Klitschkos said in a statement. "When we came to Germany, Fritz was the most important person to us. ...
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Yahoo News article
Stiverne to defend WBC heavyweight title against Wilder
Yahoo News - about 2 years
Canadian Bermane Stiverne will make his first defense of his World Boxing Council heavyweight world title against American Deontay Wilder on January 17 in Las Vegas, organizers said Sunday. The hard-punching Stiverne won the vacant title with a sixth-round technical knockout of Chris Arreola on May 10, seizing the belt vacated by Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko when he stepped away from the ring in December of 2013. The Haitian-born Stiverne knocked Arreola down twice in the sixth before the referee stopped the contest in the first heavyweight world title fight on US soil since 2009. Twenty-one of the 36-year-old Stiverne's 24 victories have come inside the distance and he is unbeaten with one draw on his record.
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Klitschko Warns Ukrainian Tempers Are Heating Up
NYTimes - about 3 years
Ukrainian opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, after meeting with the country's beleaguered president, is warning that tempers are heating up and says the president must take action to resolve the country's political crisis.     
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NYTimes article
Did Vitali Klitschko Retire to Avoid a Fight With David Haye?
Huffington Post Sports - about 3 years
"Vitali Klitschko is leaving boxing to concentrate on Ukrainian politics and his role as an opposition leader. Klitschko vacated his WBC world heavyweight title on Monday and said he doesn't expect to fight again as he pursues a presidential bid in his home country." This was the recent report in the associated press (via USA Today) Klitschko is becoming more involved with politics and this deemed the main reason for his stepping down. However, could it be that he was also avoiding the proposed fight with David Haye? The fight with the older brother had been offered to Haye at the post fight press conference of Vitali Klitschko and Derek Chisora fight. The Klitschko's manager said David should fight Chisora and the winner could fight Vitali-this never happened and Vitali went on to fight some very meager opposition instead. In any case it reminded me of a recent article of mine wherein I pointed out another British fighter's knockout win over Big brother Klitschko. Reid was a very ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
In Ukraine's Protests, Radicals Are A Wild Card
Huffington Post - about 3 years
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Wearing masks, helmets and protective gear on the arms and legs, radical activists are the wild card of the Ukraine protests now starting their third month, declaring they're ready to resume violence if the stalemate persists. When the protests started in late November, attracting crowds sometimes above 100,000 and visits from Western officials, the gatherings' general determined peacefulness was an integral part of their claim to legitimacy. But in mid-January, the image of placid but principled people changed sharply, to frightening scenes of protesters heaving stones and firebombs at police. The violence was sparked by the radicals within the larger protest movement, angered by President Viktor Yanukovych's implementation of harsh anti-protest laws and increasingly impatient with the protesters' failure to achieve any of their demands. In a vivid demonstration of frustration, they sprayed opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, the towering former heavyweight boxin ...
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Huffington Post article
Ukraine parliament passes measure offering protest amnesty deal
Guardian (UK) - about 3 years
Opposition parties did not support offer of amnesty to arrested protesters in exchange for end of Kiev occupations Ukraine's parliament approved a law on Wednesday that would grant an amnesty to arrested protesters but – to the opposition's fury – depended on the demonstrators vacating all occupied government buildings. After 12 hours of negotiations the amnesty was agreed by 232 votes from pro-government members amid applause from the ruling party and angry shouts of "Shame!" from the opposition. Protesters are holding three administrative buildings in Kiev, including the building housing the city administration. Yuri Miroshnychenko, President Viktor Yanukovych's representative in parliament, said the protesters would now have to leave the buildings. But he insisted the opposition headquarters in Trade Union House, as well as Independence Square and Khreschatyk Street, where the protest camp is located, would not be touched. The opposition reacted to the new law with anger, call ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Vladimir Putin tells Brussels to stay out of Ukraine's political crisis
Guardian (UK) - about 3 years
Russian president dismisses EU decision to send envoy to Kiev: 'The more intermediaries there are, the more problems there are' President Vladmir Putin warned Europe to keep its hands off Ukraine on Tuesday, as Brussels sent its top foreign policy envoy to Kiev to try to mediate in the 10-week stand-off between President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition on the streets. Russia's intervention in Brussels followed Yanukovych's biggest concession to the opposition, the sacking of his hardline prime minister and government and a promise to repeal draconian laws criminalising protest and freedom of speech. Putin met EU leaders for the first time since November's clash between the Kremlin and Europe over the future of Ukraine triggered the crisis in Kiev. Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, took part in the meetings with Putin in Brussels then travelled to Kiev to try to mediate between the opposing sides. "The more intermediaries there are, the more problems there are," P ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Ukraine Protests Will Continue Despite Compromise Offer, Opposition Leader Says
Huffington Post - about 3 years
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — New violence erupted in Ukraine's capital during the night as a large crowd attacked a government exposition and conference hall where police were stationed inside. Early Sunday, demonstrators were throwing firebombs into the Ukrainian House building and setting off fireworks, and police responded with tear gas. Although the crowd created a corridor at the building's entrance apparently for police to leave, none were seen coming out. The outburst underlined a growing inclination for radical actions in the protest movement that has gripped Kiev for two months. The building under attack is about 250 meters (yards) down the street from Independence Square, where mostly peaceful demonstrations have been held around the clock since early December and where protesters have set up an extensive tent camp. Clashes with police broke out a week ago in the wake of new, harsh anti-protest laws. More-moderate opposition figures, including heavyweight boxing champion Vitali ...
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Huffington Post article
Ukraine: protesters in Kiev urged to keep truce after talks end in stalemate
Guardian (UK) - about 3 years
Government's failure to grant key concessions met with anger in the capital, with protests spreading to other parts of country Ukraine demonstrations: share your images and videos Opposition leaders begged protesters in Kiev to keep observing a truce with riot police late on Thursday night, after long talks with President Viktor Yanukovych ended without a major breakthrough. The government's failure to grant key concessions was met with anger by thousands of protesters manning the barricades in the capital, while the anti-government protests that have rocked Ukraine spread to other parts of the country during the day. On Wednesday, after three people had been killed in clashes with riot police, opposition politician Vitali Klitschko had asked protesters in central Kiev to observe an eight-hour truce while talks went on. Klitschko had promised to "go on the attack" if Yanukovych did not launch snap elections within 24 hours, while Arseniy Yatsenyuk of the Fatherland party said he ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Klitschko at Ground Zero Kiev
CNN iReport - about 3 years
while taking a look at what had happened overnight, a large crowd started to swarm near me and there were a lot of agitated voices. Then, there in front of my position with a backdrop of burning tires and thick black smoke, was Vitali Klitschko. The crowd was large but very well behaved and relatively quiet while he spoke.
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Vitali Klitschko
  • 2016
    Klitschko resigned as Petro Poroshenko Bloc chairman (on 26 May) after a new law barring a head of administration to be chairman or a member of a political party took effect on 1 May 2016.
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  • 2015
    In the 2015 Kyiv Mayoral election Klitschko was reelected with 66.5% of vote.
    More Details Hide Details For this he needed a second round of Mayoral elections between him and Boryslav Bereza after incumbent Klitschko scored 40.5% of the vote and Bereza 8.8% in the first round. (Bereza gained 33.51% of the vote in the second round of Mayoral elections.)
    Klitschko was reelected as mayor on 15 November 2015. Originally, Klitschko was an amateur kickboxer with a record of 34–1 with 22 knockouts. 1995 Super Heavyweight Gold Medalist at the Military World Championships in Ariccia, Italy.
    More Details Hide Details Results: In 1996, he turned professional and compiled a record of 34–1 with 22 knockouts. He was a world champion six times (professional and amateur).
  • 2014
    Klitschko is in favor of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. He sees the European Union as Ukraine's "model for Ukraine's future political and economic development." He believes former President Viktor Yanukovych and his government were "deliberately destroying the integration (into Europe) prospects of Ukraine" and that Ukrainian politicians have no right to let them "rule after 2014".
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    He was elected Mayor of Kyiv on 25 May 2014.
    More Details Hide Details Klitschko headed the election list of the winner of the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, but he gave up his parliamentary seat to stay on as Mayor of Kyiv. On 28 August 2015 the UDAR party merged into Petro Poroshenko Bloc. Klitschko thus became the new party leader.
    Klitschko headed the election list of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc in the late October 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, but he vowed not to resign as Mayor of Kyiv. On 21 November 2014 Klitschko gave up his seat in the new parliament.
    More Details Hide Details Petro Poroshenko Bloc won the election with 132 seats. On 28 August 2015 the UDAR merged into Petro Poroshenko Bloc. Klitschko became the new party leader.
    Poroshenko appointed Klitschko as head of Kyiv City State Administration on 25 June 2014.
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    He was sworn in as mayor on 5 June 2014. The same day the Ukrainian parliament had deprived Klitschko of his MP mandate (Ukrainian MPs are not entitled to combine parliamentary activities with any other public employment). Poroshenko was elected President of Ukraine on 25 May 2014.
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    In the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election Klitschko endorsed the candidacy of Petro Poroshenko.
    More Details Hide Details Klitschko won Kyiv's mayoral elections with almost 57% of the votes.
    But on 29 March 2014 announced that he had changed his mind and would run for the post of Mayor of Kyiv in the 2014 Kyiv local election (including Mayoral elections) set for 25 May 2014.
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    Klitschko was one of the dominant figures of the Euromaidan protests. During these protests, he retired from boxing. He confirmed on 28 February 2014 that he would take part in the (early) 2014 Ukrainian presidential election.
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  • 2013
    Klitschko announced on 24 October 2013 that he intended to take part in the next Ukrainian presidential election that was then set for 2015.
    More Details Hide Details Experts and lawyers then argued that it was unclear if Klitschko could take part in these elections. Under Ukrainian law, a presidential candidate must have had his residence in Ukraine for the past ten years prior to election day; and Klitschko had lived for many years in Ukraine and Germany, where, according to media reports, he has a residence permit. Opinion polls since early 2011 showed that the predicted percentage of votes that Klitschko would gain in the first round of the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election enlarged from 4.8% in December 2011 to 15.1% in February 2013, and an October 2013 Razumkov Centre poll predicted 19.3%.
    In early April 2013 Klitschko called for early presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine.
    More Details Hide Details Klitschko's father, Vladimir Rodionovich Klitschko (1947–2011), was a Soviet Air Force major general and a Soviet military attaché in East Germany. The elder Klitschko was also one of the commanders in charge of cleaning up the effects of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster in 1986 and was afterward diagnosed with cancer. His mother is Nadezhda Ulyanovna. Klitschko has been accused of working as a debt collector in the 1990s for mafia boss Viktor Rybalko. Klitschko has vehemently denied links to Rybalko.
    He was a leading figure in the 2013–2014 Euromaidan protests, and he announced his possible candidacy for the Ukrainian presidency but later withdrew and endorsed Petro Poroshenko.
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  • 2012
    During the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election, Klitschko was elected (he was top candidate on UDAR's party list) into the Ukrainian parliament; when his party won 40 seats.
    More Details Hide Details Klitschko was chosen the leader of the party's faction in Parliament.
    On 2 July 2012, it was announced that Vitali Klitschko will defend his WBC Heavyweight title on 8 September at the Olympic Indoor Arena in Moscow, Russia.
    More Details Hide Details His opponent for the fight was the then undefeated Manuel Charr 21–0 (11 KO). Klitschko won the fight via technical knockout when Charr had to be stopped due to a cut received from Vitali's punches. Klitschko was expected to face Bermane Stiverne in a mandatory title defense, but was forced to pull out due to injury. On 15 December 2013, Vitali Klitschko stepped back from boxing. He was announced champion emeritus, which means that if he wants to return to boxing, he can fight the WBC Heavyweight Champion without having any fights beforehand. But (right after his retirement from boxing), Klitschko stated "That is something I currently cannot imagine". The WBC title was vacated and later contested by Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne. Commenting on his decision, he stated "My focus is on politics in Ukraine and I feel the people there need me". He also added, "I thank the WBC and its president Jose Sulaiman for the support in our battle for democracy and freedom in Ukraine".
    Sources in Germany reported that he was likely to fight British contender Dereck Chisora on 18 February 2012 in Olympiahalle, Munich, Bayern.
    More Details Hide Details It was confirmed on 12 December 2011 that Dereck Chisora would be Vitali Klitschko's next opponent. Vitali Klitschko retained his WBC Championship belt unanimously in a dominant display in Munich. The fight was fought against a backdrop of antagonism displayed by the contender Dereck Chisora at the weigh in. Chisora slapped Klitschko across the face causing a red mark to be left. The next day Chisora spat water over the face of Vitali's brother Wladimir. Vitali won the majority of the rounds boxing a disciplined fight with changing angles and superior footwork. Chisora, constantly coming forward delivering punishing body shots, failed to wear down the older man. The scores were: 118–110, 118–110, 119–111. The next day Vitali visited a hospital to check his shoulder, claiming he injured it in the fight. A doctor confirmed a ligament tear was suffered in his left shoulder. Klitschko said he "suddenly lost strength in the left hand" and was forced to only use his right. The injury was believed to have happened in the second or third round. Klitschko's trainer, Fritz Zdunek, believes this is the same kind of injury Vitali suffered in his fight with Byrd.
    After Wladimir Klitschko had to cancel his fight with Jean-Marc Mormeck, it was thought that Vitali was likely to fight on 25 February 2012.
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    Klitschko was in negotiations for a possible bout with former WBA Heavyweight title holder David Haye on 3 March 2012.
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    In January 2012, he was awarded WBC Fighter of the Year for 2011.
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  • 2011
    Klitschko did accuse in October 2011 President Yanukovych and the Azarov Government of "doing everything to manipulate the rules to stay in power longer"; furthermore (in December 2011) he assert(ed) "every statement of the government" as "a continuation of lies and disinformation."
    More Details Hide Details He has also taken part in rallies for former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's release. In December 2011 Klitschko described the judicial system of Ukraine as "complete degradation" and accused it of violating human rights and humiliating its prisoners. According to him Ukraine lacks independent and unbiased judges because "The Ukrainian judiciary is currently a closed clan; lifelong judges and appointments through administrative leverage". He wants to ensure the independence of judges by switching from a system of appointed judges to a system of elected judges. In July 2012 party-leader Klitschko stated his party UDAR will not cooperate with the Party of Regions in the Ukrainian Parliament.
    In October 2011, Klitschko announced that he would run in the 2012 Kyiv mayoral election.
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    Alongside his brother Wladimir, he also fights on for their shared ambition of holding all four Heavyweight Championship belts together, an ambition that was realised on 2 July 2011 when brother Wladimir defeated David Haye to win the WBA Heavyweight Championship.
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    Now aged 40, Klitschko retained his WBC heavyweight title against Tomasz Adamek on 10 September 2011 in Poland, winning by TKO in the 10th round. The referee stopped the bout after Adamek received punishing blows and was ruled out, as he was no longer able to defend himself. After turning 41 on 19 July 2012, Vitali became one of the oldest Heavyweight Champions in history.
    More Details Hide Details Despite having a four-year hiatus from the sport, Vitali has proven to be a remarkably effective and dominant Heavyweight Champion once again.
    On 11 January, it was officially confirmed that the fight between Klitschko and Solis was going to take place in Cologne, Germany on 19 March 2011.
    More Details Hide Details The fight lasted less than one whole round, as a right hand to Solis's temple wobbled Solis, who then twisted his knee. Klitschko won by KO.
  • 2010
    On 17 August 2010, it was announced that Klitschko would defend his WBC title against Shannon Briggs on 16 October of that year.
    More Details Hide Details Klitschko completely dismantled his challenger with superior hand speed. Briggs struggled to land any meaningful punches, as Klitschko won every round decisively. After a few rounds, Briggs was receiving a vicious and sustained beating which caused him serious facial injuries. Considering the beating he was receiving, there was some suggestion that the referee should have stopped the bout during the last few rounds. Klitschko had retained his belt with official scores of 120–107, 120–105, and 120–107. During the post-fight interview, the American boxer Briggs said: “I’ve fought George Foreman, I’ve fought Lennox Lewis, and Vitali’s the best.” While Klitschko did not knock down Briggs, the latter collapsed after the fight and was hospitalized with facial fractures and a torn biceps. Klitschko's next fight was against mandatory challenger Odlanier Solis. The bout was tentatively scheduled for March 2011.
    On 29 May 2010, Vitali Klitschko defeated Polish heavyweight contender Albert Sosnowski by KO at 2:30 in round 10 of 12.
    More Details Hide Details Sosnowski was knocked down by a right hand in the 10th round, prompting referee Jay Nady to immediately wave off the fight. The fight took place at Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Vitali Klitschko weighed in at 112 kg (247 lbs), while Sosnowski weighed in at 110 kg (242.5 lbs). This voluntary defense was Vitali's 4th defense of the WBC Heavyweight title. Sosnowski was the No. 11 ranked heavyweight according to the WBC prior to this bout.
    In 2010, he founded the party Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) and was elected into parliament for this party in 2012.
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  • 2008
    Arreola had been influenced by Samuel Peter's defeat to Klitschko in 2008, in which Peter had tried to box from the outside.
    More Details Hide Details He therefore employed a game-plan which involved applying constant pressure to Vitali in order to force him into a high tempo fight. Despite his best efforts, the bout became one sided very quickly. Klitschko consistently proved himself faster, sharper and much fitter than Arreola. On 12 December, Vitali defeated Kevin Johnson by unanimous decision, winning almost every round. Johnson, a skillful fighter, tried to negate Klitschko's strength with angles and head movement. Though he proved hard to hit, he failed to launch any sustained attack of his own. After the Johnson bout, Klitschko's camp began negotiations for a potential fight with former WBA Champion Nikolai Valuev, but the match failed to materialize due to economic disagreements.
    On 3 August 2008 the WBC awarded Klitschko a chance to regain his WBC Heavyweight title.
    More Details Hide Details After Vitali's retirement, his younger brother had established dominance in the division, winning two of the four world titles available. The reigning WBC Champion was Samuel Peter (who had lost a decision to Wladimir in a thrilling fight in 2005). At the time, there was interest in a potential Peter vs. Wladimir unification match. Instead, Vitali took advantage of his champion emeritus status and secured a title challenge against Peter. The fight was arranged on 11 October 2008 at O2 World, Berlin. It would be one of the most anticipated heavyweight fights in the past few years. Both men had a rightful claim to being the champion and the stakes for the future of the heavyweight division were high. Despite some questioning Vitali's decision to return after four years, he managed to regain his title in dominating fashion. Klitschko had Peter intimidated from the first round and stunned him with accurate hard punches. Klitschko kept the hard-punching Nigerian off with an effective left jab and took control in the center of the ring. Over eight rounds, Klitschko completely dismantled and outfought the younger champion. After the eighth round, Peter slumped on his stool, shook his head and asked that the bout be stopped. With the Samuel Peter victory, Klitschko technically became one of the few men to ever hold a version of the World Heavyweight Championship three times – WBO (1999–2000), WBC (2004–2005) and WBC (2008–2012).
  • 2006
    Still, Klitschko was elected as a people's deputy to the Kyiv City Council since "Civic party" PORA-ROP won 14 seats in the 2006 election.
    More Details Hide Details In the May 2008 Kyiv local election, he ran again and won 18% of the vote. Klitschko simultaneously led the Vitaliy Klychko Bloc that won 10.61% of the votes and 15 seats and again, he was elected into the Kyiv City Council. His campaign hired Rudy Giuliani as a consultant for the campaign. In 2008, he was also appointed to the Ukrainian delegation of the Congress of the Council of Europe. Klitschko became the leader of the political party Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) in April 2010. During the 2010 Ukrainian local elections, the party won representatives in (Ukrainian) municipalities and Oblast Councils (regional parliaments). Klitscho and UDAR became a partner of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany in November 2011. Udar is supported by the German government and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and received support in particular from Angela Merkel and also politicians from the conservative European People's Party. According to information gained by the German magazine DER SPIEGEL, the target was to "set up Klitschko purposefully as a new strong man in Kiew – in order to counter this way the Kremlin's growing influence". Support consisted in logistics, training and joint performances. Assistance was also promised by Christoph Heusgen, Ronald Pofalla and Guido Westerwelle.
    He lost the 2006 mayoral election to Leonid Chernovetskyi but placed second with 26% of the vote, ahead of the incumbent Oleksandr Omelchenko Klitschko campaigned on an anti-corruption platform and lead the bloc "Civic party" PORA-ROP (the parties PORA and Reforms and Order Party) in the simultaneously held local elections for the Kyiv City Council.
    More Details Hide Details Analysts stated his relatively late entry into the campaign might have cost him votes.
    Klitschko formally began his political career in 2006 when he placed second in the Kiev mayoral race.
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  • 2005
    Klitschko began campaigning for Mayor of Kyiv shortly after his retirement in 2005.
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    In 2005, (Vitali) Klitschko was appointed an adviser to President Yushchenko.
    More Details Hide Details In October 2006, he was promoted to full-time adviser.
    On 9 November 2005, Klitschko announced his retirement from professional boxing and vacated his title.
    More Details Hide Details He had been training to fight Hasim Rahman, however, nine days before the fight, he injured his leg while sparring. He snapped his anterior cruciate ligament, which with surgery would take up to a year to heal and possibly prove career ending. To avoid keeping the title out of use he retired. The WBC was grateful for his consideration. On other occasions he cited regrets about his suddenly mounting injuries, a desire to leave the sport while still on top and political aspirations in his home country of Ukraine. Following his retirement, the WBC conferred "champion emeritus" status on Klitschko, and assured him he would become the mandatory challenger if and when he decided to return.
  • 2004
    During the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election and the following Orange Revolution, the Klitschko brothers openly supported the candidacy of Viktor Yushchenko.
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    Immediately afterward, Klitschko dedicated his victory to democracy in his native Ukraine and also to the Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko, whom he supported in 26 December 2004, election revote.
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    Klitschko scored a technical knockout against Williams in 8 rounds on 11 December 2004, while wearing an orange cloth to show support for the Ukrainian presidential opposition movement.
    More Details Hide Details Klitschko knocked Williams down in the 1st, 3rd, 7th, and 8th rounds before the fight was stopped.
    Klitschko faced South African Corrie Sanders on 24 April 2004 for the WBC heavyweight championship and The Ring belts that had been vacated by Lewis.
    More Details Hide Details Sanders had stopped younger brother Wladimir in the second round (TKO) on 8 March 2003. Klitschko was rocked in round one by Sanders, but by using upper-body movement and accurate punching he broke down Sanders, forcing referee Jon Schorle to stop the bout. Vitali landed 60% of his power punches. Klitschko's first WBC title defense was against British boxer Danny Williams. Williams had become suddenly marketable from a KO over Mike Tyson in round 4.
    In January 2004, the WBC announced that it would strip Lewis of the belt if he let pass a 15 March deadline to sign for a rematch with Vitali.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly thereafter, Lewis announced his retirement and vacated the title. For years after this fight, Klitschko would still occasionally call out Lewis, despite the fact that Lewis has been retired since early 2004, for a rematch. Around this time the Klitschko brothers moved from Hamburg, Germany to Los Angeles. In January 2004 they notified Universum that they would not re-sign when their contracts expired in April. Universum sued the brothers, arguing that their recent injuries had triggered a clause binding them beyond April. The suit was ultimately resolved in favor of the Klitschkos in November 2009.
  • 2003
    The fight between Lewis and Klitschko was to take place in December 2003, and Klitschko signed for a tune-up fight on 21 June 2003 as part of the undercard of Lewis' fight with Kirk Johnson for the IBO title, as the WBC would not sanction the fight for their title.
    More Details Hide Details Johnson, however, pulled out of the fight due to injury and Klitschko, due to his being in training for a fight on the same day as Lewis, took the fight on short notice. Immediately after he accepted, the WBC elected to sanction the fight as a title match and Lewis' The Ring title was also up for grabs in addition to his lineal title. Klitschko, a 4–1 underdog, dominated the early going with many harder punches. He stunned Lewis in the second round with two hard rights, leaving a cut under on Lennox's left eye. In the third, Lewis landed a big right hand that opened a deep cut above Klitschko's left eye. Before the seventh round, the ringside doctor inspected the wound and deemed it severe enough to threaten eye damage if struck again, stopping the fight despite Klitschko's pleas to continue. Klitschko was ahead on all three judges' scorecards 58–56 (4 rounds to 2) at the time of the stoppage, but because the wound was a result of punches from Lewis, Lewis won by technical knockout.
  • 2000
    By April 2000 Vitali Klitschko was unbeaten and a rising star in the heavyweight division, having won all 27 of his contests by knockout.
    More Details Hide Details On 1 April, Klitschko had a third title defense against the American Chris Byrd, who was a late replacement. Byrd made himself a difficult target and tried to thwart Klitschko's offense by being elusive. Klitschko won most of the rounds and was heading towards a comprehensive points victory when he suffered a serious shoulder injury. After the ninth round, Klitschko notified his corner that he had a shoulder pain and threw in the towel, thus handing Klitschko his first defeat and awarding Byrd the win by RTD. At the time of the stoppage, Klitschko had won 8 of 9 rounds on one judge's scorecard, and 7 of 9 on the two others. Klitschko, who was later diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff, received much criticism for quitting the fight. Klitschko rebounded from his loss to Byrd by reeling off five victories in a row, earning himself a shot at WBC Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis.
  • 1999
    In his 25th pro fight on 26 June 1999, Klitschko won the WBO Heavyweight title from Herbie Hide of the United Kingdom by a second round knockout.
    More Details Hide Details He successfully defended the title twice. He defeated Ed Mahone by knockout in the third round and beat Obed Sullivan, who retired after the ninth round.
  • 1996
    Vitali Klitschko is married to Natalia Egorova, a former athlete and model. They met in Kyiv and got married on 26 April 1996.
    More Details Hide Details He has three children, Yegor-Daniel, Elizabeth-Victoria and Max (named after the former World Heavyweight Champion Max Schmeling). In 1996, Klitschko graduated from the Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky Pedagogical Institute (Ukraine) and was accepted into the postgraduate study program at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. On 29 February 2000, he presented his doctoral thesis on "talent and sponsorship in sports" at the "Kyiv University of Physical Science and Sports" and his PhD in Sports Science was conferred. Klitschko has lived for years in Germany (in addition to residing in Kyiv). According to Klitschko "Germany adopted me, I really love Germany, but I'm not German". Both Vitali and his brother are avid chess players. Vitali is a friend of former world chess champion Vladimir Kramnik; and the two have played, with Kramnik always winning. Vitali has commented that "chess is similar to boxing. You need to develop a strategy, and you need to think two or three steps ahead about what your opponent is doing. You have to be smart. But what's the difference between chess and boxing? In chess, nobody is an expert, but everybody plays. In boxing everybody is an expert, but nobody fights."
    Klitschko began his professional boxing career in 1996, winning his first twenty-four fights by either early knockout or technical knockout.
    More Details Hide Details He and Wladimir signed with the German athlete-promotion company Universum. With both brothers holding PhDs and being multilingual, their refined and articulate personalities made for mainstream marketability when they moved to Germany and Universum. In time, they became national celebrities in their adopted home country.
  • 1995
    As an amateur, Klitschko won the super-heavyweight championship at the first World Military Games in Italy in 1995.
    More Details Hide Details In the same year he won a silver medal at the World Championships in Berlin, Germany, where he was defeated by Russia's Alexei Lezin in the final. In his autobiography, published in Germany in 2004, the boxer revealed that he tested positive for a banned steroid in 1996. He attributed the presence of the drug to treatment of a leg injury, but was dismissed from the Ukrainian boxing team and missed the Atlanta Olympics. His brother Wladimir moved up from heavyweight to super heavyweight to take his place in the squad and won the Olympic gold medal. His amateur record was 195–15 with 80 knockouts.
  • 1971
    Born on July 19, 1971.
    More Details Hide Details
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