Vitali Klitschko, the former WBC heavyweight champion of the world and the Mayor of Kiyv, is set to be honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2022 ESPYS on 20th July in Los Angeles.
Having been the Mayor of the Ukrainian capital since 2014, Klitschko has always been vocal against Russian President Vladimir Putin owing to the 2013 conflict. Back in February, in the wake of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, both Vitali, as well as his brother and former unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir took up for their nation’s army against Russia.
Even during their careers, the two Klitschko brothers were well known for their patriotism, and proudly donned the blue and yellow on their shoulders during walkouts. To defend their motherland against the Russian aggression, the siblings joined territorial defense battalion, alongside other Ukrainian citizens, as well as fellow boxers from the country such as Vasiliy Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk.
This is a recognition of the courage of the Ukrainian people: Vitali Klitschko
Last Tuesday, ESPN made an official announcement that “Dr Iron Fist” was set to be conferred with the coveted Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The award is inspired by tennis legend Arthur Ashe, who was important figure in the Civil Rights movement in the United States, as well as opposed Apartheid in South Africa and was also a symbol of the fight against AIDS.
The award will be bestowed upon Vitali at the prestigious 2022 ESPY® Awards ceremony, set to take place on 20th July at the Microsoft Theatre in AEG’s multibillion-dollar L.A. Live entertainment complex.
“It is a great honor for me to receive this award,” said Vitali, “I am convinced that this is a recognition of the courage of the Ukrainian people, who have valiantly resisted the Russian aggressor for more than three months.”
“This is an award for all those who defend the independence and freedom of Ukraine,” Vitali commented,” the 50-year-old added. [H/T ESPN]