Wladimir Klitschko is 55-3 and the IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight champion of the world. He’s preparing to fight David Haye in July for Haye’s WBA heavyweight champion belt. If Wladimir wins, he will have earned his fourth title belt and he’ll combine with brother Vitali to hold all the major heavyweight titles. But if you hear the way Wlad tells it, their combined success is extremely surprising.
Wladimir lost two of four fights in 2003 and 2004 getting beat pretty badly. He was defeated in the second round by Corrie Sanders in March of ’03, getting knocked down twice in the first and two more times in the second. Though Wlad struggled immensely with Sanders’ powerful left hand, he rebounded to win his next two fights. Then in April of ’04, Wladimir lost to Lamon Brewster by TKO in the fifth. Wladimir says his brother advised him to quit boxing after seeing him lose by TKO twice in 13 months.
“I was destroyed and at the bottom of the sport – destroyed by fans, media, everyone and I ended up on the floor,” Wladimir told the News of the World.
“Even my brother Vitali said, ‘Look at your face, where you are right now, I think it’s time to say goodbye to the sport’.
Wladimir used the losses as motivation and he’s won all 13 of his fights since then. He even avenged his loss to Brewster in ’07 while brother Vitali avenged the Sanders loss.
Even though Wladimir is now a multiple heavyweight belt holder, it’s not too surprising to hear what his brother recommended seven years ago. At the time, Wladimir seemed to be far inferior to Vitali and prone to getting hit hard. I never thought much of him because of those losses, and it’s taken a long time for him to rebuild his credibility as a champion. Partnering with Manny Steward has worked wonders for him, and you have to give him credit for rebounding from his losses to become so successful.
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