Vitaliy Klitschko, after a four-year hiatus, entered the ring last Saturday night to face Samuel "the Nigerian Nightmare" Peter in the WBC Heavyweight Championship of the world. He was extremely well received in the O2 World Arena by both the Germans, who consider the long-time Hamburg resident one of their own, and of course by the Ukrainians from Germany, other EU countries, the USA, and from Ukraine. The Ukrainian flags numbered in the hundreds and were being waved throughout the brand new arena, only opened a few weeks earlier.
The national anthems of both countries (Ukraine and Nigeria) where played with flags displayed in the ring.
Entering the ring to the tune of AC/DC's "Hell's Bells", complete with huge bell suspended from the arena ceiling and ringing eerily, Vitaliy looked in shape and focused. Vladimir his brother, entered the ring with this training team and helped in the corner. Himself a current heavyweight champion, Vladimir was the only boxer to beat Samuel Peter in the Nigerian's long string of title bout victories.
Many Vitaliy fans were nervous. Can a fighter really come back after four years out of the ring? A video on the diamond vision was played right before the fight with best wishes said personally to Vitaliy. George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, and others (including even Mike Tyson) have Vitaliy their encouraging words.
The fight itself consisted basically of eight rounds of Vitaliy pounding on the "Nigerian Nightmare". At first I was expecting Peter to surprise us with a punch to Vitaliy's head, but he was unable to get in. Peter's small stature was no match for Vitaliy's long arms. The match ended by Peter resigning while in the corner after the eighth round. Victory Vitaliy.
We lingered after the fight and watched as Vitaliy (and Vladimir) and Vitaliy's wife all gave interviews for the media. Someone on Vitaliy's team stretched out a Ukrainian Flag behind Vitaliy as a backdrop. One of the interviews was for the audience and was broadcast in the Arena. From what I could gather, it was in German, the interviewer asked if Vitaliy was going to go back into politics. The question actually caught him off guard and he stuttered and struggled to come up with a non-commital reply while grinning widely.