BERLIN: Fritz Sdunek, who was the trainer for Ukrainian heavyweight boxing brothers Vitaly and Wladimir Klitschko, has died aged 67, following complications after a heart attack, according to AFP subsidiary SID.
Sdunek, who also trained former world light-heavyweight champion Dariusz Michalczewski, suffered the heart attack in the Canary Islands before being transported to Hamburg where he died, website express.de announced.
Sdeunek, a former amateur boxer, had had to reduce his training responsiblities in recent years as he battled heart problems and skin cancer.
It was from his Hamburg base that he trained Vitali Klitschko, now mayor of Kiev, during his stellar 16-year career. Younger brother Wladimir was under his wing for eight years.
“Wladimir and Vitali learnt the news from the family,” Wladimir’s manager Bernd Bonte told SID, an AFP subsidiary.
“They are upset and very sad…..he was a close friend to us all, we owe him a lot.”
While Vitali, who was twice WBC champion and also WBO titleholder, has retired to focus on a political career in Ukraine.
Wladimir, 38, holds three of the heavyweight championship belts (IBF/WBA and WBO) with his goal to become the first pugilist in history to hold all four by taking the WBC version next year.