Wladimir Klitschko turned down $100 million to fight his brother
Wladimir is the top heavyweight fighter in the world and at one point he and his older brother Vitali combined to hold all the major title belts in the heavyweight division. The two never fought because they promised their mother they would never do it, meaning fans never got to see the dream matchup between the two best heavyweights of the last 10 years. Wlad says he even turned down a $100-million offer from Don King to make the fight happen.
During an interview with SI’s Chris Mannix on “The Dan Patrick Show” Thursday, Wlad said King, a famous promoter, gave him a hypothetical offer for $100 million and he said no.
“You guys sign with me, I’m going to make this fight. I’m going to make you rich!” Klitschko recalls King telling him.
Wlad says no amount of money would have made him fight his brother.
“A billion wouldn’t help. Money is not everything in life. I understand that people are excited and driven by money, but no. Between two brothers … I love my brother too much.
“We were asked many times if we are going to fight each other or not, but we made a promise to our mother that we will never fight each other.
“She asked us — you can box, you can both be involved in boxing — which I don’t like, but you have to promise me one thing: no matter what you won’t fight each other.”
The two sparred at times during their youth, but Wlad says the fights weren’t close because Vitali had a five-year age advantage over him. When Wlad suffered a broken leg during one of their sparring sessions, he took it as a sign from God that they were not meant to ever fight each other.
Vitali, 43, retired from boxing with a record of 45-2 and entered politics. He is currently the mayor of Kiev. Wlad, 38, is 63-3 and is set to fight again in April. He has won 21 fights in a row since losing two of four fights between 2003 and 2004. He is married to Hayden Panettiere, and the two just had the first child together.