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Vitali Klitschko Bio

Posted 12:00 AM | Dec 8, 2008

Weight Class: Heavyweight

45 Wins | 2 Losses | 41 KOs

Hometown: Hamburg, Germany
Birthdate: July 19, 1971
Height: 6'7"
Nickname: Dr. Ironfist

When 13-year-old Vitali put on a pair of boxing gloves for the very first time, nobody could have imagined that he would become one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time. Vitali started his career as a successful Kickboxer - he became a six-time Kickboxing-World-Champion, twice as an amateur und four times as a professional. It was not before later when Vitali discovered his passion for boxing and quite fast he was very successful too: As an amateur he became Ukrainian Heavyweight Champion three times, champion of the first World Military Games and winner of the silver medal at the amateur world championships. In 1996 Vitali left the amateur stage behind and his professional record since then is impressive: 37 fights, 35 wins with 34 KOs! Vitali won his first important title on October 24th 1998. In a fight for the European championship he defeated Mario Schie├čer by TKO in Round 2. This victory paved the way towards his ultimate goal - a shot at the World Heavyweight Title! On June 25th 1999 this dream became reality. After knocking out Herbie Hide in round 2, Vitali had became WBO-Heavyweight Champion of the world!

Unfortunately Vitali lost the WBO-Title on April 21st 2000 to Chris Byrd. In round nine unlucky Vitali had to quit due to a severe injury to his shoulder. Until that moment Vitali was well ahead on all three judges scorecards. But this setback could not slow down his hunger and ambitions and on June 22nd 2003 Vitali got another title shot - this time against Lennox Lewis. But once again good fortune was not on his side. After a fantastic fight, that earned Vitali great sympathies all over the world, the referee stopped the fight on advice of the ringside physician. The reason was a deep cut underneath Vitali's left eyebrow that may have caused permanent damage if the fight had continued. Once again at the time the fight was stopped, Vitali was leading on the scorecards.

On April 24th 2004 at Staples Center in Los Angeles Vitali fought Corrie Sanders for the belt of the World Boxing Council (WBC). After a difficult and entertaining fight Vitali finally won by TKO in round 8. At the same time he took his successful revenge for the loss his brother Wladimir had suffered against the South African about a year ago. But at the height of his boxing abilities Vitali had to sustain several more injuries. After successfully defending his WBC-Title against Danny Williams, a scheduled title fight against Hasim Rahman had to be postponed several times before finally being cancelled. Vitali was truly plagued by injuries in 2005. After a back-surgery and tears of a meniscus and a cruciate ligament in his right knee Vitali Klitschko decided on November 9th 2005 to retire as reigning WBC-Heavyweight Champion of the world.

Consequently Vitali was appointed Champion Emeritus by the WBC, a status that enables him, in case of a comeback, to challenge the current WBC-World Champion right away.

1400 days as Champion Emeritus Vitali Klitschko returned to the boxing ring on October, 11, 2008 in Berlin. His opponent was the reigning WBC-Champion, Samuel "The Nigerian Nightmare" Peter from Nigeria. With an impressive performance, Vitali regained the WBC-belt for the second time after 2004 by TKO when Samuel Peter did not return to the ring after round 8. Thus Vitali Klitschko is the fourth boxer alongside Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis to win a heavyweight belt for the third time.

Vitali Klitschko

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