Vitali Volodymyrovych Klitschko (/vᵻˈtæli ˈklɪtʃkoʊ/; Ukrainian: Віта́лій Володи́мирович Кличко́, [ʋiˈtɑʎiɪ̯ klɪtʃˈkɔ]; born 19 July 1971) is a Ukrainian politician and former professional boxer. He currently serves as Mayor of Kiev and head of the Kiev City State Administration, having held both offices since June 2014. Klitschko is a former leader of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc and a former Member of the Ukrainian Parliament. He became actively involved in Ukrainian politics in 2005 and combined this with his professional boxing career until his retirement from the sport in mid-December 2013.
As a boxer, Klitschko is a three-time world heavyweight champion, and is the eighth longest reigning heavyweight champion of all time. He held the WBO title from 1999 to 2000; the Ring magazine title from 2004 to 2005; and the WBC title twice, from 2004 to 2005 and from 2008 to 2013. Standing at 2.01 metres (6 feet 7 inches), Klitschko was renowned for having exceptional ring dominance. With an 87.23% knockout percentage, he holds one of the best knockout-to-fight ratio of any champion in heavyweight boxing history, while also possessing a highly durable chin. His two losses came via a shoulder injury and a deep cut above his eye, both of which were recorded as stoppages but not outright knockouts; in both fights he was leading on the judges' scorecards.
Klitschko is the only heavyweight world champion to have never been knocked down in any fight. Alongside George Foreman he is the only heavyweight boxer in history to defend a world title after turning 40. Being the first professional boxing world champion to hold a PhD degree, and in reference to his punching power, Klitschko's nickname was "Dr. Ironfist". His younger brother, Wladimir, is also a former heavyweight champion who held the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles. From 2006 until 2015, Vitali and Wladimir dominated heavyweight boxing, a period typically known as the "Klitschko Era" of the division.
Klitschko formally began his political career in 2006 when he placed second in the Kiev mayoral race. In 2010, he founded the party Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) and was elected into parliament for this party in 2012. He was a leading figure in the 2013–2014 Euromaidan protests, and he announced his possible candidacy for the Ukrainian presidency but later withdrew and endorsed Petro Poroshenko. He was elected Mayor of Kiev on 25 May 2014. Klitschko headed the election list of the winner of the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, but he gave up his parliamentary seat to stay on as Mayor of Kiev. On 28 August 2015 the UDAR party merged into Petro Poroshenko Bloc. Klitschko thus became the new party leader. Klitschko was reelected as mayor on 15 November 2015.