Klitschko brothers mourn dead father | Inquirer Sports

Klitschko brothers mourn dead father

/ 05:21 PM July 14, 2011

BERLIN—Heavyweight boxing brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko were mourning their dead father on Thursday after the 64-year-old former Soviet Air Force colonel died from cancer in Ukraine.

“Both brothers were devastated when they heard,” the Germany-based brothers’ manager Bernd Boente told AFP subsidiary SID. “It had been clear for a long time that their father didn’t have much longer to live.”

Wladimir Rodionowitsch Klitschko served in the air force during the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and battled for many years with cancer thought to have been caused by radiation exposure, reports said.

Until recently he was in hospital in Hamburg, northern Germany, where he was able to watch from his bed son Wladimir beat Britain’s David Haye on points to become the undisputed world heavyweight champion on July 2.

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“It was nice that their dad was able to follow the fight on television at the hospital,” Boente said.

Both brothers have returned to their native Ukraine to be with their mother for the funeral.

Wladimir Klitschko now holds the IBF, WBO and WBA belts. Alongside brother Vitali, the WBC champion, the brothers now hold all four of the major world titles.

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TAGS: Boxing, obituary, People, Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko

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