Former Boxing Champion Vitali Klitschko To Receive Arthur Ashe Courage Award At The ESPYS
Former heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (45-2, 41 knockouts) is the current Mayor of Kyiv, Ukraine, and he will be honored for resisting the Russian invasion of Ukraine with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the 2022 ESPY Awards. The event is set to take place on Wednesday, July 20 at The Rooftop at Pier 17 at the Seaport in New York City.
Klitschko has been on the frontline of the war in Ukraine since it began on February 24. The 50-year-old has also been the Ukrainian capital’s chief executive since 2014.
He along with younger brother Wladimir, also a former heavyweight champion, have served as faces of Ukrainian resistance to the public. They have helped to garner support for the country through their media appearances.
“It is a great honor for me to receive this award,” said Klitschko in a press release. “I am convinced that this is a recognition of the courage and inviolability of the Ukrainian people, who have been bravely resisting the Russian aggressor for more than 3 months. This is an award for everyone who defends the independence and freedom of Ukraine.”
The most remembered moment of Vitali’s boxing career is his 2003 heavyweight brawl with then-heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, where Klitschko came out ahead 58-56 on all three cards.
Klitschko became champion himself the following year with an eighth round stoppage of Corrie Sanders. He retired from the sport in 2012 and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2018.
In addition to the Klitschkos, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk are two other Ukrainian boxing champions who have been involved with helping the Ukrainian resistance.