Vitali Klitschko will be honoured with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award

Vitali Klitschko, former WBC heavyweight champion, will be honoured with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on Wednesday, July 20.

This is an outstanding award given by ESPN during the ESPYs Awards, to people who with their courage and sportsmanship have changed the world.

The inspiration for the award was tennis player Arthur Ashe who joined the Civil Rights movement in the United States, opposed Apartheid in South Africa and was a symbol of the fight against AIDS.

Vitali Klitschko, Mayor of Kyiv, Ukraine, since 2014, has been a central figure in defending his country since it was invaded by Russian forces in late February, serving as one of the leaders of the Ukrainian resistance.

Together with his brother Wladimir, also a former world champion, they pledged to take up arms alongside their fellow citizens and are at the forefront of the Ukrainian response to the invasion.

"It is a great honour for me to receive this award. I am convinced that this is a recognition of the courage of the Ukrainian people, who have valiantly resisted the Russian aggressor for more than three months. This is an award for all those who defend the independence and freedom of Ukraine," Vitali said.

Vitali first entered the Ukrainian political sphere in 2006 when he ran for mayor of Kyiv and finished second in the election.

He remained politically active, even after returning to the ring, initially pledging to run for president in 2014 before eventually entering the mayoral race and winning.

Since then, he has become the longest-serving mayor in the city's history and remains a leading figure in the country.

Vitali finished his boxing career with 45 wins, only 2 losses and making 12 successful defences of his WBC heavyweight title, in his last spell as a champion.

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