COLOGNE, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 07: Wladimir Klitschko attends a paneltalk at the Digital X event on September 07, 2021 in Cologne, Germany. More than 200 national and international top speakers - experts, visionaries, politicians, entrepreneurs, opinion leaders and critical voices - take part to discuss in two days of a full digitisation programme. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
One of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time may not be able to attend his enshrinement this summer at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY.
Wladimir Klitschko, dubbed 'Dr. Steelhammer', has indicated his willingness to pick up the steel in defense of his home country Ukraine, amidst the ongoing Russian invasion. Wladimir joined Ukraine's reserve army last month saying his love of country compels him to defend it, Reuters reported. Wladimir is one half of the most successful boxing-brother-duo in history, with each dominating the heavyweight division in his prime.
The elder Klitschko, Vitali, who has served as the mayor of Kyiv, Ukraine since 2014 has said he too would join the military fight, according to the report:
"I don't have another choice, I have to do that. I'll be fighting," the 50-year-old, known as "Dr Ironfist" during his fighting days, told broadcaster ITV's Good Morning Britain.
As of this posting on Tuesday afternoon, reports surfaced of a Russian military convoy approaching Kyiv, according to CBSNews.
Vitali, who holds a PH.D in Sports Science, is a 2018 IBHOF inductee with a professional record of 45-2 (41 KOs). The 6-foot-7 slugger held multiple heavyweight belts including the WBO and WBC titles.
Both brothers were in Canastota back in 2018 for Vitali's IBHOF induction. Vitali is pictured below attending the weekend festivities:
Wladimir's record setting reign as a heavyweight champ stretched more than dozen years, part of an overall professional campaign of 64-5 (53 KOs). After winning Gold in the 1996 Olympics, the younger Klitschko would go on to hold the WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO and Ring Magazine heavyweight champion belts. Wladimir was elected to the IBHOF in 2021, but COVID-19 nixed the boxing Hall's annual ceremony each of the last two years. This year, organizers have planned a 'Once In A Lifetime Trilogy Induction Weekend' in June (9th-12th) honoring the classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022.
The 2022 IBHOF Trilogy Induction Weekend will include a who's-who of modern boxing megastars like Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather, Roy Jones Jr., Shane Mosely, Miguel Cotto, Andre Ward, James Toney, and Laila Ali, among many others, including past inductees and legends.
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