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Who Was Better Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko?

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By Ken Hissner: They were born in two different countries due to the fact their father was an Air Force Colonel. Their mother told them when they took up boxing never to fight one another. Who are they? The Klitschko’s! Both were former world heavyweight champions!

The older brother Vitali, known as Dr. Ironfist, was born in Kyrgyzstan in 1971. The younger brother, Wladimir, known as Dr. Steelhammer, was born in Kazakhstan in 1976.

Vitali, 6’7”, was 195-15 in the amateurs. Wladimir, 6’6”, was 134-6 in the amateurs, winning the 1996 Olympic Gold Medal in Atlanta, Georgia.

Vitali was a six-time world kickboxing champion, twice as an amateur and four times as a professional, ending with a 34-1 record with 22 knockouts. He earned a Ph.D. in Sports Science.

If you beat one Klitschko, you may have had to deal with the other one. Wladimir was 24-0 and the WBC International champion when he was stopped by Ross ‘The Boss’ Purity, 24-13-1 in the eleventh round in 1998.

In 2001, it was brother Vitali, 29-1, the former WBO World champion and then the WBA Inter-Continental champion, stopping Puritty in the eleventh round.

In 2003, Wladimir was the WBO world champion when he was stopped by Corrie ‘The Sniper’ Sanders, 38-2. Thirteen months later, brother Vitali stopped Sanders for the vacant WBC world title.

In 2004, when Wladimir was stopped by Lamon ‘Relentless’ Brewster, 29-2, for the vacant WBO title, he reversed that decision in 2007, stopping Brewster.

In 2000, Vitali was stopped by Chris ‘Rapid Fire’ Byrd, 30-1. Six months later, Wladimir defeated Byrd.

In 2003, ahead on all scores 58-56, Vitali got cut and lost to WBC world champion Lennox ‘The Lion’ Lewis, 40-2. Possibly, Lewis wanted nothing to do with a rematch, retiring after that one.

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Two fights later, Vitali regained the WBC title, finishing his career by winning his last thirteen fights since losing to Lewis. His final record was 45-2 with 41 knockouts and 9 title defenses retiring due to injuries.

He defeated Juan Carlos Gomez, Chris Arreola, Kevin Johnson, Albert Sosnowski, Shannon Briggs, Olandier Solis, Tomasz Ademek, Dereck Chisora and Manuel Charr. In 2014, he became mayor of Kyiv, Ukraine.

After losing to Brewster Wladimir four fights later regained the world title, stopping IBF champion Byrd. He won his next eighteen fights, adding the WBO title and defeating the champion Sultan Ibragimov, 22-0-1.

Then he added the WBA title, defeating David ‘Hayemaker’ Haye, 25-1. His streak was stopped by current WBC champion Tyson ‘The Gypsy King’ Fury, 24-0, by decision.

In his next bout, he lost to champion Anthony ‘AJ’ Joshua, 18-0, by stoppage in 2017. He finished at 64-5 with 53 knockouts and 23 title defenses.

Among those 23, he defeated Chris Byrd (twice), Ray Mercer, Samuel Peter (twice), Lamon Brewster, Sultan Ibragimov, Hasim Rahman, Ruslan Chagaev, David Haye, and Jean-Marc Mormeck.

They were the first brothers to hold the heavyweight title at the same time. Both were inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

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