Vitali Klitschko Injured In Training, Undergoes Spinal Surgery
Former WBC heavyweight boxing champion of the world Vitali Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs) was reportedly injured yesterday while training for his bout with Jameel McCline on September 22, requiring that Vitali undergo spinal surgery at a clinic in Austria to relieve pressure on a pinched nerve in his back. This is the third back surgery for Vitali, 36, who previously had back surgery while training for Larry Donald in 2002, and then re-injuring his back in 2005 while training for title defense against challenger Hasim Rahmanm, causing Vitali to need back surgery for a second time.
In addition to this, Vitali injured his leg twice while training for bout with Rahman, making it necessary for him to have major surgery to repair a torn meniscus, a bone bruise, plus an undiagnosed MCL tear. The combination of back and knee injuries prompted Vitali to retire from boxing on November 9, 2005, having never been defeated as a world heavyweight boxing champion. During his bout with Chris Byrd, in April 1, 2000, Vitali, then the WBO heavyweight champion, suddenly quit after the 9th round, saying that his shoulder had been injured. At the time of the stoppage, Vitali was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards 89-82, and 88-83 and 88-83.
Immediately afterwards, Vitali needed surgery on his right shoulder to repair a torn rotator cuff.
And then, finally, in Vitali’s bout with IBF/WBC heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in June 21, 2003, Vitali’s left eye was badly cut by a punch in the 3rd round, which eventually made it necessary for the fight to be stopped at the end of the sixth round. At the time of the stoppage, Vitali was ahead on the scorecards 58-56, 58-56 and 58-5.
Vitali’s comeback bout with McCline, set for September 22, naturally, was canceled until further notice. Reportedly, Vitali will not be able to resume training for a minimum of six weeks.
Vitali later said, “I can’t believe my bad luck. I have prepared myself for nine weeks and now this happens.”