Vitali Klitschko: the Greatest Heavyweight Champion of all Time – Pt 3
By Roman Kolaczek: Klitschko is not just a heavyweight boxing champion; he is also heavyweight scholar. In 1996, he graduated from the Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky Pedagogical Institute and was accepted into the postgraduate study program at Kiev University. On 29 February 2000, he presented his doctoral thesis on “Talent and Sponsorship in Sports” at the Kiev University of Physical Science and Sports, and his Ph.D in Sports Science was conferred. Klitschko is the first heavyweight champion in history to hold a Ph.D. Obviously, as a role model to youth internationally, Klitschko stands for educational accomplishment as much as he represents dominance in boxing.
In business, too, Klitschko’s championship character is known and respected. Together with his brother and co-heavyweight champion Wladimir, and with KMG CEO Bernd Boente, Klitschko is staging boxing events of the finest and most competitive caliber. KMG also signed a multimillion-dollar deal with German television network RTL, an arrangement recently extended to include the Klitschko brothers’ next five fights. Vitali Klitschko is not just a great, dominant champion, student, and politician: he is a huge success as a boxing promoter as well.
Charity has not escaped the champion’s attention. Klitschko and his brother Wladimir are involved in many charity events and organizations worldwide. Both brothers are members of Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, including Laureus’s charity committee. They have worked for UNESCO’s Programme for the Education of Children in Need. Vitali and Wladimir have also sponsored charity and community outreach projects of their own, including the Klitschko Brother Foundation.
Admirable, also, is that Klitschko is a genuine family man. Together with his beautiful wife Natalie, he has three children: Yegor-Daniel, Elizabeth-Victoria, and Max (named after the former world heavyweight champion Max Schmeling). It is a credit to the champion’s character that his marriage is free of scandal, which is unusual for famous athletes and entertainers today.
As a caring father, husband, and son, Vitali always takes time out from his busy schedule to be with loved ones. He stayed by his father’s beside at all moments earlier this year, when the elder Klitschko was dying of cancer. The champion’s noble character that is evident to everyone, including those who are not part of his family. Klitschko is welcoming of all people, and is extremely tolerant and patient with everyone he meets.
I have often seen Vitali at public events, training camps, and at parties after his fights. Treating people with respect is his priority. It comes naturally to him. At Klitschko’s training camp in Austria this summer, for instance, I was amazed that he finished almost every gym session by sitting down, together with his long-term coach Fritz Sdunek, to converse with the throngs of fans who sought his attention. He came as a truly magnanimous human being who has respect for all who approached him.
Vitali Klitschko, the world heavyweight champion, is an impressive person. As a fighter, he never needs to use big words or to burn $100 bills to get attention. His actions in the ring speak more than words could say. In every respect, Klitschko, as champion, has conducted himself in exemplary fashion, inside and outside the ring. The time has come to consider that Klitschko may indeed be the greatest heavyweight champion that boxing has yet seen.
Sure, there have been champions who were humble people, who had great careers and characters, who did charity work, and who were active as politicians. But none of them did all of this at the same time…while they were still champions.
But now we have a great heavyweight champion who does it all. Vitali Klitschko – The Greatest of All Time!
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