Vitali Klitschko, a Hall of Fame boxer and current mayor of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, announced that he’s taking up arms and plans to fight for his country amid Russia’s invasion. He joins his brother and Hall of Fame boxer, Wladimir Klitschko, a member of Ukraine’s reserve army.
“It’s already a bloody war. I don’t have another choice. I have to do that. I would fight,” said Vitali Klitschko on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. He wasn’t one to back down inside the ring and he’s proving now that he isn’t one to do so outside the ring. That’s what you want to see in a mayor.
Vitali Klitschko won 15 world heavyweight title fights and defended his title 12 times during his legendary career – which ended with a 45-2 record as a professional boxer. Klitschko became mayor of Kyiv in 2014 and was at the forefront of protests against Russia early on in his term.
His brother, who joined Ukrainian’s reserve army one month ago, had his own legendary career as a heavyweight boxer – he finished with a 64-5 pro record. Many boxing analysts refer to the period between 2004 and 2015 as the ‘Klitschko Era’ due to the two brothers’ dominance.
While the two have since moved on from boxing, they find themselves fighting for something much more meaningful – and serious. Wladimir Klitschko released a letter on LinkedIn on Thursday. He titled it, “No democracy without democrats.” Here’s a snippet from the letter:
“If Putin goes ahead with his plan for a change of regime in Kyiv, then democracies around the world must now start thinking about a change of regime in Moscow. Before it is too late,” he says. “Here, we will defend ourselves with all our might and fight for freedom and democracy.”
Vitali Klitschko Isn’t the Only Ukrainian Boxer Being Affected
Three other Ukrainian boxers – Oleksandr Usyk, Vasiliy Lomachenko, and Viktor Postol – have been impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and all three have reacted in different ways. Of course, that doesn’t even touch on the millions of other families being affected.
Lomachenko has fled Ukraine and has been reported in Greece while the situation develops. Usyk was at an event in London, but has since returned to Ukraine and made a plea for unity. Postol has a fight coming up on Saturday in Las Vegas and is staying focused on the fight.
“Friends, we have to unite because it’s a hard time right now and I’m really emotional and worry about my country, and our people. Friends, we have to stop this war; all of us together,” said Usyk in his plea for unity. “I was at work but I’m back, I’m home.”
“The situation in Ukraine escalated a lot last couple of days, it’s hard not to think about it, but I try to focus on the fight and not for the news,” said Postol at his fight promotion. “My family is there in the middle of everything. But I am going to have my people there and my family is safe.”
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It’s truly heartbreaking what’s going on in the world today and we are praying for all the lives that are being affected by the Russia invasion. At the same time, we’re inspired by the courage being shown by Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko, Oleksandr Usyk, and the rest of Ukraine.
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