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WBC heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko hit with tear gas during protest in Ukraine

A protest in Ukraine over the advancement of the Russian language turned violent on Wednesday, and WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko found himself right in the middle of the action. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured. Klitschko is an important political figure in the Ukraine, as he is running for mayor of Kiev and is the leader of Ukrainian political party UDAR.

According SI.com, police had to use batons and tear gas to subdue the crowd when things got out of hand. Klitschko, who is set to defend his title in two months against Manuel Charr, felt the effects of the tear gas and suffered a minor cut to his left hand, but other than that his mananger Bernard Boente said the champ is “totally fine.”

“I have spent a lot of time in Germany, in western Europe, in the U.S.,” Klitschko told SI.com in February. “I want the western life standards for my country. Ukraine is a young democracy with huge potential, but it doesn’t have those standards. I don’t want to wait for changes in my country. I know what has to change.”

Klitschko’s political party has been opposing a Russian language bill passed by parliament that would make Russian, not Ukrainian, the primary language in the former Soviet nation. Vitali is no stranger to violence outside of the boxing ring, but his fans are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief that he was able to escape the violent protest without serious injury.

H/T Off the Bench
Photo credit: Witters Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Dereck Chisora slapped Vitali Klitschko at their pre-fight weigh-in (Video)

Most sports fans in the U.S. probably had no idea Vitali Klitschko was fighting this weekend. His opponent, Dereck Chisora, decided to do something about that.

As the two were face-to-face for the customary stare-down a day before their WBC heavyweight fight in Munich, Chisora took an open-handed palm and slapped Vitali in the face. Klitschko did not retaliate, deciding to save it for their fight.

“I am going to hit back on Saturday,” the 43-2 champion said. “He will get his beating.”

Chisora is only 15-2 and far smaller than the 6’7″ Ukrainian. That may be the only hit he lands this weekend.

via Chris Mannix

Vitali Klitschko Told Wladimir to Quit Boxing After Losses to Sanders, Brewster

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’.

[Read more...]

David Haye to Finally Face Wladimir Klitschko with Vitali as Backup Plan

The waiting game of almost two years finally came to an end on Sunday: David Haye and Wladimir Klitschko agreed to fight this summer. Though this fight lacks the attention and publicity the elusive Pacquiao-Mayweather fight has received, it’s one fans have been waiting for since 2009.

Haye pulled out of his 2009 fight with Wladimir citing an injury concern. He later negotiated a fight with Vitali Klitschko, never signed, and instead beat Nikolai Valuev to win his belt. Since then, Haye has talked all sorts of nonsense saying the Klitschkos were avoiding him while Wlad responded calling him a chicken (read the whole timeline here). At long last, the game is over.

The fight is set to take place June 25th or July 2nd at a European location. But here’s the best part: there is injury insurance that guarantees Haye will fight one of the Klitschkos. If Wlad gets hurt and pulls out as he’s done frequently, Vitali will step in for the bout. Does it get much better than that as far as tag team partners go?

The Klitschkos are based out of the Ukraine while Haye is British, so it appears as if the mutual location for the fight will be Germany. All I know is that I’ll believe this fight is on when I see the bell ring, but I will add it will be quite cool to see the Klitschko brothers own all four major boxing belts by the end of the year.