A two-time world heavyweight champion, an Olympic gold medalist in 1996 and one of boxing’s greatest ever competitors, today Wladimir Klitschko celebrates his 45th birthday.

Capturing the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world titles during a fruitful career as the ‘Steel Hammer’, Klitschko out-boxed 64 professional opponents with his exceptional knockout power, jab and footwork. In his amateur career, the Ukrainian won 134 of his 140 fights.

Victorious against the best, light work was often made of those up against him. Notable victories include beating David Haye, Alexander Povetkin and Kubrat Pulev.

Losing only five times professionally in 21 years (1996 – 2017), retirement was confirmed after a loss to his one-time apprentice, Anthony Joshua. Acknowledged as a legend by a crowd of over 95,000 people at Wembley Stadium, the match up was the concluding chapter in an incredible story.

Although failing to overcome AJ, Tyson Fury, Lamon Brewster, Corrie Sanders and Ross Puritty, Klitschko had more title defences than Muhammad Ali, holds the record for the longest combined world championship reign in heavyweight history at 4,383 days and has an asteroid named after him – Asteroid212723 Klitschko.

Speaking four languages and being a lecturer at Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen, intelligence runs in the family. Whilst Wladimir was one of the sport’s most intellectual athletes, the Klitschko’s also have great political power and influence. Younger brother of Vitali Klitschko, the democratically elected Mayor of Kiev and a former three-time world heavyweight champion, (the second-longest-reigning WBC heavyweight champion of all time), it was no wonder that boxing slowly became dominated by the world famous name.

Nicknamed ‘Dr Wladimir’, both he and his brother have PhD’s in sports science. Trained by legendary cornerman Emanuel Steward, ‘Manny’ moulded Klitschko into the icon that he became. As with Lennox Lewis, the American was fundamental in transitioning his prodigy into more of a defensively oriented pound-for-pound boxer.

To some the best heavyweight of the Millennium, to others the greatest ever, we at Boxing Guru wish a charitable, talented and kind ambassador of our sport a very happy birthday.


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