Boxing's best athletes in the Golden Era - Ali, Foreman, Liston - don't even hold a candle to the physical specimen that is Wladimir Klistchko. Okay, okay that is a pretty bold statement. But one look at the man they call Dr. Steelhammer and you start to wonder.
Standing 6'6 ½" and weighing in around 240 pounds, Klitschko (51-3, 45 KO) is the most physically imposing heavyweight boxing has ever seen - not just because of his dimensions, but because of his athleticism. Light on his feet, explosive and with stamina unlike many of today's big men, Klitschko represents a new breed of heavyweight.
His trainer - the legendary Emanuel Steward who has trained plenty of great athletes including former heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis - says that he doesn't think boxing will see another athlete as good as Wladimir in his lifetime.
Having just broken from training camp for his upcoming bout against Hasim Rahman, who famously KO'd Lewis in 2001, Klitschko took a few moments to chat about his food and training ahead of a big fight.
>> Look for a detailed account of Klitschko's training in an upcoming issue of M&F.
M&F: Rahman has a history of bad-mouthing you and your brother. Are you excited to get in the ring with him?
Wladimir Klitschko: Yes, I am very excited for this fight as I am for every fight I have.
M&F: What kind of fight can your fans expect to see on December 13?
WK: What to expect? All my fans have to do is look at my boxing record: 45 KOs in 51 wins. My job is to finish the fight as fast and as impressive as possible and that is exactly what I am going to do.
M&F: You've been holding training camp in Spain for nearly two months. How do you feel physically?
WK: I feel like I am ready to fight. The training camp went absolutely perfect. My team worked hard to get me ready and we are all focused on the task ahead of us.
Emanuel Steward - Head Trainer
James Ali Bashir - Assistant Trainer
David Williams - Chef/Nutritionist
John Knarr - Physical Therapist
Jonathan Banks - Training Partner
M&F: You put on muscle easily - have you had to cut down how much weight lifting you do when getting ready for fights?
WK: I was born with big muscles (laughs). I have muscles like all of us do. Yes, my daily workouts can cause me to gain muscle mass if I lift too heavy, but if I don't workout, I tend to lose weight rapidly so I don't change my routine too much. I am not a bodybuilder, but I do lift for power and speed.
M&F: Does your diet change at all the week of the fight?
WK: Yes my diet changes during the last week. My chef/nutritionist (David) and I have worked hard to figure out what works best for me. I do major carb-loading for the final week by eating a lot of oatmeal, pasta, and red meat for iron. This helps me perform at the highest level possible, which is extremely important.
SNAPSHOT - Wladimir Klitschko
Born: March 25, 1976
Birthplace: Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, USSR (now Semey, Kazakhstan)
Height: 6'6 ½"
Fight weight: 240-243 pounds
Record: 51-3, 45 KO
Heavyweight championships belts held: WBO, IBF, IBO
Nickname: Dr. Steelhammer
>> For more information on Klitschko vs. Rahman, which airs live on HBO Championship Boxing at 4:45 pm ET/1:45 pm PT on Saturday, December 13, visit www.hbo.com/boxing.
>> To visit Klitschko's official site, go to www.klitschko.com.