And eventually... the world! Muahahahahaha! Is this the plot to the next Avengers movie? No, actually it's the real life story of Vitali Klitschko, the reigning WBC heavyweight champion.
Klitschko received the nickname "Dr. Ironfist" (and subsequently became the archnemesis of B-grade superheroes everywhere) after earning a Ph.D. in sports sciences and became the first boxer to ever earn a doctorate.
Now Klitschko is setting his sights even higher. Perhaps spurred on by Manny Pacquiao's foray into politics, Klitschko has become increasingly politically involved in his home country of Ukraine. After launching a few unsuccessful attempts at becoming the mayor of Kiev, Klitschko was eventually elected to Parliament in December 2012 when his political party UDAR (which translates to "punch" in English) won 40 of the 450 seats in Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada or Supreme Council of Ukraine.
In October of this past year, Klitschko said that he intended to run in Ukraine's 2015 Presidential election. At this point in time, early polls project that Klitschko would receive roughly 20% of the vote, a figure which doesn't seem substantial in American politics, but in a multiparty parliamentary system, its quite impressive and actually makes him the leading opposition candidate.
Klitschko's popularity seems poised to rise as he has recently taken a leading role in the pro-Western protests that have been sweeping through Ukraine after current president Viktor Yanukovych decided not to sign a political and economic treaty with the EU. The move caused hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to take the the streets in protest. Klitschko has led the protesters with great poise, doing his best to ensure that the protests remain peaceful and well organized.
Klitschko shared his views on the protests with the Associated Press claiming, "This is not a revolution. It is a peaceful protest that demands justice. The people are not defending political interests. They are defending the idea of living in a civilized country.”
People have been taking notice of Klitschko's political stances and support for him continues to grow. Not that many people would disagree with a six-foot-seve behemoth who has a career record of 45-2 with 41 of his wins coming by way of knockouts. Speaking of which here's a video of Klitschko being a total badass.
It will be interesting to see what 2015 brings, particularly with Russia putting so much pressure on Ukraine to sever ties in the West and promote a stronger relationship with Moscow. Could Klitschko stand up to Vladimir Putin like he has so many heavyweight champions? Or will the man who swims with dolphins and steals Super Bowl rings continue to remain the undisputed Eastern European champ?
|Putin v. Klitschko could be the heavyweight fight of the 21st century.|