February 17, 2000
Hamburg - February 17, 2000. For the 1996 Olympic gold medal champion Wladimir Klitschko, 31-1 (29 KOs), it's now one year and two months ago that he suffered the single defeat of his career.
It happened in December of 1998 when the young Ukrainian for the first time fought in his home town of Kiev. The inexperienced Ukrainian ran out of gas against American Ross Puritty and Klitschko's German trainer Fritz Sdunek decided to step into the ring and intervene in round 11.
Since then the giant 6-foot-7 Wladimir Klitschko won seven consecutive fights, all of them by knockout. On his successful path to redemption the younger Klitschko brother captured the European heavyweight title by giving former three-time world title challenger Axel Schulz a one-sided beating that made the German decide to retire afterwards.
Now the 23-year-old Wladimir Klitschko was eager to take revenge and give his nemesis Ross Puritty a rematch. It should take place on March 18 at Alsterdorfer Sporthalle in Hamburg.
But Ross Puritty, 27-13-2 (23 KOs), rejected the rematch offer made by Universum Box-Promotion, Wladimir Klitschko's management.
"It's very unfortunate that Puritty refused to fight me", the disappointed Wladimir Klitschko commented. "I'm ready to fight him any time at any place. We still have some unfinished business. But except from that I have different aims than Puritty. When Vitali fights against Mike Tyson I will take on Lennox Lewis. I want to become a world champion. But along that way there will always be time for me take revenge on Puritty."
As Puritty called off Universum Box-Promotion now looks for another top-level opponent for Wladimir Klitschko who is the younger brother of undefeated WBO world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, 27-0 (27 KOs).