Former boxing world champion Vitali Klitschko will be honored this coming July.

Klitschko, who is currently the mayor of Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine, will be the 2022 recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

The announcement was confirmed by ESPN.

Since Russia began its invasion into Ukraine in February, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko have been key faces in the resistance of the country and its people. They even took up arms in territorial defense in Kyiv.

Klitschko has been an outspoken source against Russian president Vladimir Putin for almost a decade.

“It is a great honor for me to receive this award,” Klitschko said. “I am convinced that this is a recognition of the courage and inviolability of the Ukrainian people, who have been bravely resisting the Russian aggressor for more than 3 months. This is an award for everyone who defends the independence and freedom of Ukraine.”

During his boxing career, Vitali had two reigns as heavyweight champion. He also had a historical fight with Lennox Lewis back in 2003.

In 2006, he ran for mayor and returned to boxing 46 months after his last fight, winning the heavyweight title.

Overall, Klitschko was 45-2 with 41 knockouts and was never knocked down during his career.

“Vitali’s poise and strength as his city and country faces unfathomable tests have far surpassed the incredible resolve he demonstrated as one of boxing’s top heavyweight champions,” said Rob King, senior vice president and executive editor-at-large, ESPN Content. “His commitment to the people of Ukraine has been a global inspiration, and his bravery is a prime example of the resilience of the human spirit. It is our privilege to bestow him with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.”

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