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W. Klitschko: Payback is My Motivation, I'm a Bad Ass

He's certainly no gentle giant but neither is world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko quite the "bad ass" he likes to describe himself as.

His nickname of Dr Steelhammer and towering 198cm stature might make him a perfect candidate for a villain in a James Bond movie.

But, with a PhD in sports science, multi-lingual Klitschko, who has a celebrity girlfriend in actress Hayden Panettiere, is certainly not your average sports jock.

Spend time in his orbit and it's hard not to be impressed.

Australian sports journalists, accustomed to tightly restricted access and cliches from stars in leading codes, have been knocked out by Klitschko in the lead up to his world title defence against Queenslander Alex Leapai in Germany this week.

He was articulate, humorous, thoughtful and infinitely patient in his dealings with assembled media.

For around an hour after a public workout on Tuesday, Klitschko conducted at least 10 separate interviews with journalists from around the world.

The Australian media contingent represented his final stop and their hearts sank when informed by his minder he only had time to answer two more questions.

Klitschko's detailed and thoughtful answers to three questions took up almost four minutes.

The previous day at the official pre-fight media conference, he conducted another round of time-consuming interviews with no visible signs of impatience.

The Ukrainian spoke poignantly about his strife-torn homeland, where his older brother and former heavyweight world champion Vitali is trying to make a difference by pursuing a political career.

"It's difficult to complain (about boxing) when people are going through the deaths of their friends and relatives," Klitschko said.

"Nothing can compare to that when people's life is on the line.

"I'm more than sure that we are going to have a happy end ... I just wish this process is going to be accelerated."

He is clearly popular and widely admired in Germany, where he has fought almost 50 of his 64 professional bouts.

"He's also fought in Madison Square Garden (New York), he has fought in Switzerland and in other countries," Bernd Bonte, managing director of the Klitschko managing group told AAP.

"But most of the fights are over here (in Germany) because the interest is huge here."

Klitschko clearly doesn't enjoy questioning of his boxing style, which some consider boring, his battle to earn the respect of the hard-to-please American market, or his three losses.

He uses such criticism to fuel the competitive fires within him that show no sign of dimming at the age of 38.

"This payback is my motivation and I'm a bad ass," Klitschko said.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Mr.Fantastic on 04-26-2014

[QUOTE=billeau2;14470130][B]Oh yeah....Put a guy who will stand in front of him all night, has feet and hands of molasses (except when delivering a package) and enough durability to take a beating, some badass.[/B] More like punk. Pathetic punk. This guy…

Comment by -cupo- on 04-26-2014

[QUOTE=BennyST;14469075]Errrr, actually, yes he is. All of them are. That's why they get paid for it. That's why it's big money and why it's on TV and why thousands of people but tickets. It's a sport. They literally fight to…

Comment by billeau2 on 04-26-2014

At the level of comp Vlad fights my sister would look like the best thing since sliced bread in the ring. You pick a slow guy to stand in front of you and look spectacular and this makes people talk…

Comment by billeau2 on 04-26-2014

[QUOTE=thuggery;14461831]Wlad is a ****ing boss, respect.[/QUOTE] Oh yeah....Put a guy who will stand in front of him all night, has feet and hands of molasses (except when delivering a package) and enough durability to take a beating, some badass. More…

Comment by Jack Napier on 04-26-2014

Wlad's badass when he gets KO's it's hard to enjoy fights like the Povetkin or Sultan fights be cautious and all if you finish eventually without the beatdown, it takes away from his luster as HW champ he gets the…

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