Vladimir Rodionovich Klitschko dies

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Vladimir Rodionovich Klitschko, the proud father of world heavyweight champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, passed away after a long and unsuccessful battle with illness. He was 65.

Vladimir Sr. was a dedicated follower of aviation and a well-respected officer of the Soviet Union's air force.

He also took part in cleaning up the effects of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster in 1986.

His influence on shaping up the characters of both Wladimir Jr. and his elder brother Vitali can hardly be overestimated

Already the first brothers to hold pieces of the heavyweight championship simultaneously, Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko now possess all of the major sanctioning-body titles.

Wladimir (making his 10th title defense) added Haye's WBA strap to his IBO, IBF, WBO and Ring titles, while Vitali holds the WBC crown.