Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko: Five Facts You Need to Know
Without a doubt, the most dominant heavyweights of their generation, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko took over the sport at a time when a huge transition took place.
Back in the early 2000’s, Lennox Lewis was coming to the end of his legacy at a time when rivalries between the likes of Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe and Mike Tyson were fading into a new era.
Lewis fought off the biggest names, and instead of heading off into the sunset with his title belts, but decided to put it all on the line against a hungry former kickboxing star in Vitali.
At the time of their fight, Vitali was 32 years old but had honed his skills before his big moment finally arrived against Lewis in 2003.
Vitali put on a brave display but was ultimately halted by bad facial damage made worse by the accuracy of Lewis, coupled with the Briton’s awesome power.
The fight finished in the mid-rounds when Klitschko was unable to continue, although ‘Dr. Ironfist’ was far from finished and this was only the beginning of his dominance.
The now Mayor of Kiev would never again taste defeat, making ten successful defenses of the WBC title in two spells before bowing out as one of the best top division operators of the millennium (the 2000’s).
Brother Wladimir, younger by four years and eight months, had a much tougher time earlier in his career but would ultimately finish his ring stint in 2017 with more memorable prestige.
Despite defeats to more UK boxers in Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, Klitschko held the unified world championship for almost a decade and was the epitome of class, alongside his big brother.
As the Klitschko’s prepare to be held in high regard together in the Boxing Hall of Fame, WBN gives you five facts you need to know about the sport’s greatest siblings of the modern era.
The Klitschko’s ended with a combined record of 109-7, with a stunning 94 knockouts to their name.
Vitali held a record of 34-2 in kickboxing and was once KO’d by Pele Reid in the European Championships final.
Vitali missed the 1996 Olympics because of a failed drugs test which he attributed to medication for a leg injury.
Wladimir won gold at those games in the super-heavyweight category where he beat Paea Wolfgramm 7-3 in the final.
Wladimir holds a top university degree and speaks four languages – Ukrainian, Russian, English and German.