He holds a master's degree in social development, a doctorate in sport science, is the leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party and twice ran for mayor of Kiev.
Last year, the 6' 7½" pro-democracy heavyweight told Spiegel Online:
"Ukraine is a wonderful country with great potential and hospitable people..."
"Unfortunately, we are observing some very negative political developments. Like Yulia Tymoshenko, one opposition leader after another is being placed in prison. That damages Ukraine's image in the eyes of the world..."
"Ukraine is transforming itself into an increasingly authoritarian regime."
Vitali has won 45 of 47 bouts, amassing 41 knockouts. And while his brother, Wladimir, has arguably beaten better opposition, Vitali has been more impressive.
The elder Klitschko, whose fighting style is far more fan-friendly than his brother's, was stopped by Chris Byrd in 2000 and Lennox Lewis in 2003. Both fights were halted as a result injuries he sustained in the ring.
A loser of few rounds, Klitschko boasts an impressive 87 percent knockouts-to-fights ratio which is currently the highest of any heavyweight champion in history.
In his most recent fight, Vitali scored a fourth round TKO over previously unbeaten Manuel Charr (21-1, 11 KOs) on September 8, 2012.
It's not yet known when or if the pugilist/politician dubbed 'Dr. Ironfist' will fight again.
- Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko are the first brothers to hold world heavyweight titles at the same time.
- After Wladimir's win over David Haye on July 2, 2011, all the major heavyweight belts were simultaneously owned by the Klitschko brothers.
- Son of an Air Force Colonel.
- Began boxing at the age of 17.
- Tested positive for a banned substance in 1996 and was thrown off the Ukrainian boxing team for the Atlanta Olympics. He had planned to box at super heavyweight while Wladimir planned to compete as a heavyweight. Wladimir, who was struggling to make weight, took over the super heavyweight slot and went on to win the gold medal.
- Klitschko was a six-time kickboxing world champion, twice as an amateur and four times as a professional. His record was 34-1 with 22 knockouts.
- Earned a Ph.D. in Sports Science