Wladimir Wladimirowitsch Klitschko[4] (born 25 March 1976) is a Ukrainian former professional boxer who competed from 1996 to 2017. He is a two-time world heavyweight champion, having held the WBA (Super), IBF and WBO titles, as well as the IBO, Ring magazine, and lineal titles. A strategic and intelligent boxer, Klitschko is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time.[5][6][7][8] He was known for his exceptional knockout power, using a strong jab, straight right hand and left hook, as well as excellent footwork and mobility, unusual for boxers of his size.[9][10][11][12]

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 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. In September 2015, Klitschko was ranked as the world's best active boxer, pound for pound, by BoxRec; in November 2014, he reached a career peak of second best on The Ring's pound for pound list. BoxRec currently ranks him as the 12th best boxer of all time, pound for pound.[13]

Until his loss to Tyson Fury in 2015, Klitschko was also recognized as lineal champion by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, while the WBA recognised 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. From 2006 to 2015, Wladimir and his older brother Vitali (himself a former world heavyweight champion) dominated heavyweight boxing, a period typically known as the "Klitschko Era" of the division.[14][15]

Early life

Klitschko was born in Semipalatinsk (now Semey), Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union (now Kazakhstan).[16][17][18] 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.[19]

Amateur career

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."[20] 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 López Núñez in the finals.[21] 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.[22] He had an amateur record of 134–6.[23]

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[24][25] in sports science.[26]

Professional career

"Wladimir hits very hard, harder than (Mike) Tyson. At one point, they ran 12 800-meter [roughly a half mile] sprints, each under 3 minutes, with a minute rest between each one. I timed every one and every one was under 3 minutes. I never saw a heavyweight do anything even close to that. They work their asses off. To be able to do that, two 250-pound guys – whew. They're two of the best athletes I've ever trained."

Freddie Roach, who trained both the Klitschko brothers and Mike Tyson, on the athleticism of the brothers.[27]

Early career

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 KOs, 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

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).[28]

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.[29][30][31][32][33]

Klitschko vs. Sanders, Brewster

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.[34]

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.[35]

Klitschko vs. Williamson, Castillo, Peter

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.[36] 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.[37]

Klitschko vs. Byrd II, Brock, Austin

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.[38]

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.[39]

Klitschko vs. Brewster II, Ibragimov, Thompson

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.[40]

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.[41]

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.[42]

Klitschko vs. Rahman, Chagaev, Chambers

Klitschko vs. Rahman, 2008

Klitschko was scheduled to defend his titles against Alexander Povetkin later in 2008,[43] 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.[44][45]

Klitschko was scheduled to face David Haye, who pulled out within weeks of the fight complaining of a back injury.[citation needed] Salvaging 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.[citation needed] There was a total of 61,000 fans in attendance at the Veltins Arena. As Chagaev was WBA Champion, the title was not on the line.[citation needed]

Klitschko's win over Chagaev was seen as one of his most impressive performances in the ring.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] This win had added significance because even though the WBA title was not on the line, many saw Klitschko as the rightful champion.[46][47]

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.[48]

Klitschko defeated Chambers by knockout five seconds before the end of the final round. 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.[49][50][51]

Klitschko vs. Peter II

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?"[52][53]

Haye's trainer, Adam Booth, indicated that Haye would be willing to accept the challenge.[54] Both sides began negotiations for a potential fight and the bout was targeted for September.[55] As the negotiations continued to move forward,[56] the unification fight between Klitschko and Haye was expected to take place in Germany rather than England.[57][58] 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.[59] 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.[60] Within this period, discussions to make a fight with Haye were still ongoing.[61]

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.[62] 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.[63][64]

Peter weighed in at 241 pounds, two pounds lighter than their first fight.[citation needed] Klitschko came in at a career heavy of 247 pounds.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[65][66]

Klitschko vs. Haye

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.[67] The fight against Dereck Chisora was rescheduled for 30 April 2011 and was going to take place in SAP Arena, Mannheim.[68] 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.[69] 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.[70]

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.[71][72][73] The fight reached a global television audience of 500 million viewers in 150 countries.[74][75][76] Klitschko dominated the fight, statistically outlanding Haye nearly 2 to 1. Klitschko won by unanimous decision, 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.[77]

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.[78]

Klitschko vs. Mormeck, Thompson II, Wach

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 (36-4, 22 KOs). The fight would have taken place at Esprit Arena, Düsseldorf.[79] 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).[80] 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.[81] The fight was rescheduled for 3 March 2012, with Klitschko dominating and knocking out Mormeck in the fourth round.[82] CompuBox showed that in the 10 minutes and 12 seconds the fight lased, Klitschko landed 39 of 135 punches thrown (29%) and Mormeck landed juat 3 of 19 thrown (16%). Mormeck failed to land anything in rounds 1 and 4.[83]

On 4 March 2012, Klitschko stated that he would next fight his mandatory challenger Tony Thompson (36-2, 24 KOs) in a rematch from their first fight in 2008. At the time, he stated that the newly opened Barclays Arena in New York were interested in showcasing a Klitschko brother. Since they last fought, Thompson recorded 5 straight wins, all by knockout.[84] A purse bid was set by the IBF, where Klitschko, upon request, would receive 85% of the purse split, compared to the usual 75%.[85] The fight was confirmed to take place at the Stade de Suisse in Berne, Switzerland on 7 July.[86] In an interview, Klitschko admitted that Thompson was not his first choice and that he had rather fought someone he had not fought before.[87] Klitschko stopped Thompson in the sixth round after putting him to the canvas with flush right hand shot. Thompson was also down after Klitschko landed a big right hand. Thompson managed to beat the count just as the round ended. It was his 12th consecutive title defense, the third-most in heavyweight history.[88][89] CompuBox stats showed Klitschko landed 51 of 121 total punches thrown (42%) and Thompson landed only 25 of 183 thrown (14%).[90]

There was first mention of a potential Klitschko vs. Mariusz Wach (27-0, 15 KOs), fight in August 2011 when Klitschko's team approached Wach's promoters a fight., however nothing materialized.[91] Wach's promoter Global Boxing stated that it was Klitschko's advisor Shelly Finkel that contacted them. Bernd Boente denied these claims.[92] In August 2012, serious negotiations took place for the fight. A date in November was considered with the venue likely to be in Hamburg, Germany. Terms were fully agreed within days of the negotiations for the fight to take place 10 November.[93][94] Klitschko revealed he would train with Johnathon Banks due to Steward recovering from a bowel operation.[95][96] On 25 October, Steward passed away at the age of 68.[97] The fight was the first time in his 16-year pro career he had faced an opponent taller than himself.[98] At 2.02 metres tall, with a reach of 2.08 metres and weighing 251 pounds, Wach was 4 centimetres taller than Klitschko with a reach two centimeters longer.[99][100]

On fight night, at the 02 World Arena, Klitschko dominated and retained his belts via a one sided unanimous decision. The three judges' scored the fight 120–107, 120–107, and 119–109. The bout opened with a battle between jabs which was won by Klitschko, who was following his jabs with his signature straight right. Wach managed to wobble Klitschko in round 5 but failed to take advantage. Wach also showed a great chin later in the fight when Klitschko began to let his hands go more landing thunderous shots.[101][102] During the course of 12 rounds, Klitschko landed 274 of 693 punches landed (40%), whilst Wach landed 60 of his 308 thrown (19%).[103] After the fight, there was allegations against Wach, that he had used steroids.[104]

Days before the Klitschko vs. Wach fight took place, it was revealed that Team Sauerland offered Klitschko 5 million euros for a possible fight against then-WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck in the future. At the time, Huck was preparing for a title defence against Firal Arslan.[105] Klitschko's manager Bernd Boente turned down the offer stating money was not the issue. The reason the fight would never get made was due to the fact that the Klitschko's had a contract with German television network RTL and Huck was signed with their rival network ARD.[106]

Klitschko vs. Pianeta, Povetkin, Leapai

Wladimir and Vitali with every title in the heavyweight division, 2012. Left to right: The Ring, IBF, IBO, WBO, WBC, and 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,[107] but the two sides couldn't reach an agreement.[108] 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.[109][110][111]

On 5 March 2013, K2 Promotions announced that Klitschko would fight another undefeated contender, Italian Francesco Pianeta, on 4 May at SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany.[112] Klitschko had received criticism in regards to past opponents. Pianeta was no different. Speaking to ESPN, he said, "I'm getting always criticised with my opponents, it doesn't matter are they well known or not so much and it's always very difficult to fight against someone that is not known because you are always getting these critics." Pianeta said it was the biggest experience of his life, but not his biggest fight. He went on to say he won his biggest fight against cancer in 2009.[113] 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.[114][115][116] According to CompuBox Stats, Klitschko landed 116 of 277 punches thrown (42%) and Pianeta landed 24 of 104 thrown (23%), an average of 4 punches landed per round.[117]

Promoter Vladimir Hryunov won the right to promote Klitschko vs. Povetkin with a purse bid of $23,333,330 and Russian businessman Andrey Ryabinsky putting up the money. Failed bids made were from K2 Promotions ($7,130,000) and Povetkin's promoter Sauerland Event ($6,014,444). It allowed Ryabinsky to dictate the location of the fight and guaranteed the fighters the biggest purses of their careers. Based on being entitled to 75 percent of the winning bid, Klitschko got $17,499,997, while Povetkin received $5,833,333.[118] The Klitschko camp were said to be surprised by the bid.[119]

The fight took place in October 2013, Klitschko's 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. This included Klitschko's leaning on his opponent and pushing his head down and throwing Povetkin away to prevent Povetkin from clinching, which resulted in the referee scoring some of Povetkin's fallings as knockdowns, as well as Povetkin's punching after referee's break command and leaning his head too low.[120] Klitschko won by unanimous decision scoring a knockdown in round 2 from a quick left hook, and 3 knockdowns in round 7 including one prompted from a straight right hand. All 3 judges scored it 119–104 on the scorecards.[121][122][123] Klitschko landed 139 of 417 punches (33%) and Povetkin connected on 59 of 283 (21%).[124] After the fight, Klitschko told in the interview that he had little desire to go for the knockout as the Russian crowd would be disappointed, which lead to speculations about the alleged agreement between the champion and organisers to let the bout go the distance,[125][126][127] which Klitschko later denied. With 9.2 rating, the fight became the most popular sporting event on Russian television in 2013, as well as the most watched TV programme of the year in the capital of Russia with 13.9 rating, surpassing the Moscow Victory Day Parade.[128][129] The fight also became the most popular TV programme of Ukrainian television in 2013 with 19.5 rating.[130]

In November 2013, Alex Leapai (30-4-3, 24 KOs) caused a huge upset in defeating then-unbeaten Denis Boytsov to become the WBO mandatory challenger.[131] On 5 January 2014 K2 announced that a deal was close to being reached for the Klitschko vs. Leapai fight to take place in Germany on 26 April.[132][133] Klitschko signed the contract on 3 February.[134] It was revealed that former world title challenger David Tua declined a 'lucrative offer' to spar with Klischko ahead of the fight. Tua told Australian newspaper The Courier-Mail he "didn't want to help anyone beat a "Samoan brother".[135] On fight night, Klitschko knocked Leapai down three times, and referee Eddie Cotton stopped the fight with fifty-five seconds remaining in the fifth round.[136][137][138] Despite all the pre-fight trash talk done by Leapai, Klitschko told him, "You have truly a lionheart. You never stopped. You were challenging, you were bold. You had great desire to become a champion. Not many of my opponents have that type of attitude, that type of heart." Klitschko landed 147 of 396 punches thrown (37%), while Leapai landed a dire 10 of his 69 (14%). The 10 punches landed were made up of 6 jabs and 4 power punches.[139][140]

Klitschko vs. Pulev, Jennings

The IBF finally ordered Klitschko vs. Kubrat Pulev on 8 May 2014 and given 30 days negotiation period.[141] Klitschko's manager Bernd Boente stated that a potential fight with WBC champion Bermane Stiverne was their main priority, a fight which would see all of the heavyweight belts at stake. Kalle Sauerland stated that he would request to get Klitschko (62-3, 52 KOs) stripped of the IBF title if he didn't fight Pulev. At the same time Deontay Wilder was named Stiverne's mandatory and the WBC stated he must fight Wilder next.[142] With IBF purse bid split being 75-25 in favour of the champion, Klitschko requested the split be 80-20 in his favour. The IBF accepted the request.[143] A purse bid took place on 17 June, which was won by K2 Promotions. The winning bid was $7.25 million. Sauerland Event put in a bid for $5.29 million. As per the bid, K2 had the location set as O2 World Arena in Hamburg, with a possible date being 6 September 2014.[144] In August, Klitschko suffered a bicep injury, thus postponing the fight by at least two months. A new date of 15 November was set.[145] HBO announced that they would air the fight live in the afternoon, making it the 19th Klitschko fight they would show.[146] Two days before the fight, it was revealed only the IBF title would be at stake for Pulev as he and tjis team, however if Klitschko loses, the remaining titles would be vacated.[147][148]

Despite making a spirited effort, Pulev suffered three knockdowns en route to being knocked out in round five by a devastating left hook. The time of stoppage was recorded as 2:11 of round 5.In the post-fight, Pulev said, "Wladimir is a really good opponent, but he was lucky. I want a rematch". Klitschko praised Pulev, calling him a tough competitor.[149][150] CompuBox stats showed that Klitschko landed 38 of 89 punches thrown (43%), this included 47% of his power punches. Pulev managed to land only 25 of his 110 thrown (23%). This was made up of 10 jabs and 15 power shots landed.[151] The fight drew 10.5 million viewers in Germany[152] and 1.8 million viewers in Bulgaria (becoming the most watched sports event on the Bulgarian TV since 2007).[153] The fight also averaged 620,000 viewers on HBO and peaked at 700,000 viewers.[154] Overall, the event had an estimated audience of 300 million viewers worldwide.[155][156][157]

On 20 January 2015 ESPN reported that the potential Klitschko vs. Jennings was confirmed and to take place on 25 April 2015 at Madison Square Garden. Negotiations initially started in November 2014. Klitschko's manager, Bernd Boente finally announced the fight and said all contracts had been signed. The Barclays Center in Brooklyn was originally chosen to stage the fight, but no reason was given for the change of venue.[158]

It would be the fourth time Wladimir would fight at the 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. According to Compubox Stats, Klitschko landed 144 of his 545 punches thrown (26%) whilst Jennings landed 110 of 376 (29 percent).[159] According to Nielsen Media Research, the fight averaged 1.637 million viewers, peaking at 1.742 million viewers.[160]

Klitschko vs. Fury

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, 28 November 2015.[161] Prior to the fight taking place on the night, there was much controversy, first starting with the gloves, then there was a complaint about the ring canvas. Klitchsko reportedly had his hands wrapped without a representative of Fury, so had to do them again.[162] Klitschko lost the fight by unanimous decision, with scores of 116–111, 115–112, and 115–112 all in favour of Fury.[163][164] 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. Klitschko and Fury showed little offence during the 12 rounds, but Fury did enough to take the decision. Klitschko landed 52 of 231 punches thrown (23%) and Fury landed 86 of 371 thrown (23%).[165]

In the post-fight interview, an emotional Fury said, "This is a dream come true. We worked so hard for this. I've done it. It's hard to come to foreign countries and get decisions. It just means so much to me to come here and get the decision." He then took the microphone to thank Klitschko, "I'd like to say to Wladimir, you're a great champion. And thanks very much for having me. It was all fun and games during the buildup." Klitschko failed to throw his well-known right hand, mostly due to Fury's constant movement and mocking. He said, "Tyson was the faster and better man tonight. I felt quite comfortable in the first six rounds, but I was astonished that Tyson was so fast in the second half as well. I couldn't throw my right hand because the advantage was the longer distance he had." Klitschko had a rematch clause in place.[166][167]

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.[168] 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 29 October at Manchester Arena. On 23 September, Fury again postponed the fight after being declared "medically unfit",[169] before eventually vacating the WBA "Super", WBO and IBO titles, citing problems with depression after testing positive for cocaine.[170] The rematch with Klitschko was cancelled as a result.

Klitschko vs. Joshua

Days after the Fury rematch was called off, Klitschko was approached by Eddie Hearn, promoter of IBF champion Anthony Joshua, to fight on the 28 November 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.[171] 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.[172] 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 10 December, a date his team had an arena set for in Germany.[173] On 24 October, 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.[174][175] On 2 November, the WBA finally agreed to sanction a fight for their super title as long as Joshua defeats Eric Molina in December 2016.[176]

On 10 December, 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 29 April 2017.[177] WBA president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza confirmed that the winner will have to face mandatory challenger Luis Ortiz next, with deadlines due to be set after the unification fight.[178][179][179] 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.[180] 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.[181][182] At the weigh in, Klitschko weighed in at 240 and a quarter pounds, the lightest he has weighed since 2009. Joshua came in heavier at 250 pounds.[183]

In front of a post-war record crowd of 90,000 in attendance, Joshua won by TKO in a high-drama war that saw both men giving their all. They fought a close and cautious first four rounds. In the fifth, Joshua came out roaring and barraged Klitschko to the canvas. An angry Klitschko rose up and dominated Joshua for the remainder of the round, before landing a clean right hand and scoring his own knockdown in round 6. The next few rounds were again cautious, both men wary of each other, until a reinvigorated Joshua attacked Klitschko in round 11 with an upper-cut blow to the right side of Klitschko's face which would be the beginning of the end for the Ukrainian. Joshua then put together a few small but powerful combinations which sent his opponent to the canvas. Klitschko again rose but Joshua knocked him down for a second time in the round by unleashing a devastating combination of 7 punches flooring Klitschko with his deadly left hook. Moments later Joshua tried to end the fight by swinging a few right hooks and managed to back Klitschko in to the ropes where he again sent a barrage of punches with no reply. The referee then concluded that Klitschko had taken enough punishment and stopped the fight.[184][185]

At the time of stoppage, Joshua was ahead on two judges scorecards 96–93 and 95–93, and the third judge had Klitschko ahead 95–93. CompuBox stats showed that Joshua landed 107 of his 355 punches thrown (30%), and Klitschko landed 94 of 256 (37%).[186] In the post fight interviews, Klitschko spoke about the rematch clause, but gave no indication as to whether he would activate it, "Of course we have a rematch in the contract. I need to analyze and see what the heck happened. I wish I could have raised my hands, but congrats to him. He got up, he fought back, and he won the titles."[187] In the press conference after the fight, Joshua said he would have no issues with having another fight with Klitschko, "I don’t mind fighting him again, if he wants the rematch. Big respect to Wladimir for challenging the young lions of the division. It’s up to him, I don’t mind. As long as Rob thinks it’s good I’m good to go." Eddie Hearn said Joshua's next fight would likely take place at the end of the year, possibly at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.[188]

The fight averaged 659,000 viewers on Showtime in the United States. It was show live and the fight began around 5 p.m. ET and 2 p.m. PT. Nielsen Media Research revealed the fight peaked at 687,000 viewers which was during rounds five and six.[189] The delayed tape-replay on HBO was watched by an average 738,000 viewers and peaked at 890,000.[190][191] In a press release, German TV channel RTL announced the fight was watched by an average 10.43 million viewers. The whole card averaged 9.59 million viewers. This was higher than the 8.91 million that tuned in to watch Klitschko vs. Fury in 2015. The did lower numbers than Klitschko's win over Mariusz Wach in 2012, which was watched by 11 million and Klitschko vs. Haye, which was seen by over 16 million.[192]

On 7 June 2017, the IBF granted Joshua an exception for him to rematch Klitschko instead of fighting mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. At this point, it was not said that the rematch would take place. Klitschko said he needed time to review his situation before agreeing to a rematch. It was only weeks after the fight, when Eddie Hearn filed the paperwork to the IBF to request the exception to the mandatory defense. IBF explained that the rematch must take place no later than 2 December 2017 and the winner must fight Pulev next with no exceptions.[193]

On 11 July 2017, Eddie Hearn traveled to the United States to apply for a Nevada boxing license for promoting and to also scout potential locations in Las Vegas speaking to MGM. He had a tour of the T-Mobile Arena. Although Nigeria, Dubai and China were discussed, Hearn warmed up to the idea of the fight taking place in Las Vegas.[194] Hearn told Sky Sports, "We met with Richard Sturm and the team at MGM in Las Vegas yesterday and had a full tour of the T-Mobile Arena which is very impressive. There is a huge appetite from both sides to hold the rematch there and we will be talking further over the next week or so to see if that can become a reality."[195] Showtime's Stephen Espinoza said a deal could be reached quickly, as he was also eager to get Joshua, who has a contract with Showtime, to fight in USA, "It's no secret we've been salivating about getting him over here and certainly that would be a phenomenal fight. It would be the biggest heavyweight Vegas fight in probably a couple of decades, so we would love to host it."[196] On 25 July, Hearn pencilled in 11 November 2017 for the rematch to take place at the T-Mobile Arena.[197] It was reported the fight could be pay-per-view in USA.[198]


On 3 August 2017, Wladimir Klitschko announced on his official website and social media channels that he was retiring from boxing.[199][200] Klitschko ended his professional career with 64 wins in 69 fights, 53 by knockout, establishing three major records of the modern heavyweight era: the most wins in heavywight title bouts (25), most wins in unified championship bouts (15) and most consecutive defenses of the unified title (14). He competed in 29 world title fights.[201][202]

Legacy in boxing

Throughout his career, Wladimir defeated 23 fighters for the world heavyweight title, beating a record previously shared between Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali at 21 beaten opponents. Klitschko also holds the record for the longest combined world championship reign in heavyweight history at 4,383 days; the most wins in world title bouts in the post-war heavyweight history at 25; the most wins in unified title bouts and the longest unified championship reign in professional boxing history at 15 title bouts and 14 consecutive defenses respectively; and has the second most total successful title defenses of any heavyweight boxer with 23 (including his first reign as WBO champion), behind Joe Louis (25) and ahead of Larry Holmes (20) and Muhammad Ali (19). Klitschko fought in 29 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,[clarification needed] and also defeated 10 current or former world champions throughout his career.

Other interests

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.[203]

As of October 2015, Klitschko was an adjunct professor at Switzerland's University of St. Gallen, where he taught master's students.[26]

Personal life

The Klitschko brothers on a 2010 Ukrainian stamp

Since 2009, Klitschko has been in a relationship with American actress Hayden Panettiere.[204] In October 2013, Panettiere confirmed that she and Klitschko were engaged.[205] They have one child together, a daughter, born 9 December 2014.[206]

Panettiere has appeared ringside at some of Klitschko's fights, including at Klitschko's 10th-round KO victory over Samuel Peter.[207] The couple had a brief split in 2011, but as of 2013 were together again.[204][208]

On 6 December 2013, Klitschko and his fiancée Hayden Panettiere visited the Euromaidan-protests in Kiev.[209] His brother Vitali was one of the leading figures of these protests.[210][211] He and his fiancée addressed the crowds.[212]

Wladimir and his brother Vitali have never fought each other in a professional fight as their mother made them promise to never fight each other.[213]

In 2008, after Wladimir's photo session[214] held for Vanity Fair magazine with Karolína Kurková, she claimed to have had a relationship with the boxer.[215]

Klitschko speaks four languages: English, German, Russian and Ukrainian.[216] He was friends with the late German heavyweight legend Max Schmeling.[217]

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.[218][219]

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
69 fights 64 wins 5 losses
By knockout 53 4
By decision 9 1
By disqualification 2 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
69 Loss 64–5 United Kingdom Anthony Joshua TKO 11 (12), 2:25 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 was 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 UD 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 Austria Biko Botowamungu DQ 5 (6), 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

TV viewership in Germany

No. Date Fight Viewers (in millions) Network Source
July 2, 2011
Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye
RTL Television [220]
March 20, 2010
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Eddie Chambers
RTL Television [221]
March 10, 2007
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Ray Austin
RTL Television
March 3, 2012
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Jean-Marc Mormeck
RTL Television [222]
November 10, 2012
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Mariusz Wach
RTL Television [223]
July 7, 2007
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Lamon Brewster
RTL Television
October 7, 2013
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Alexander Povetkin
RTL Television [224]
November 15, 2014
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Kubrat Pulev
RTL Television [152]
April 28, 2017
Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko
RTL Television [225]
July 20, 2009
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Ruslan Chagaev
RTL Television
April 24, 2006
Chris Byrd vs. Wladimir Klitschko II
Das Erste
June 8, 2010
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Samuel Peter II
RTL Television
December 13, 2008
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Hasim Rahman
RTL Television
July 12, 2008
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tony Thompson I
RTL Television
April 26, 2014
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Alex Leapai
RTL Television [226]
November 28, 2015
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tyson Fury
RTL Television [227]

Pay-per-view bouts

No. Date Fight PPV Buys Network Source
April 28, 2017
Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko 1,200,000 Sky Box Office [228]
July 2, 2011
Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye 1,143,000 Sky Box Office [229]
November 28, 2015
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tyson Fury 600,000 Sky Box Office


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  228. ^ Big Fight UK Boxing PPV Buys Revealed Over Last 18 Months
  229. ^ Sky Box Office Events: buyrates between June, 27 and July, 3

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