Wladimir squares off with mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev (20-0, 11 KOs) on Saturday at the O2 World arena in Hamburg, Germany, in the first fight of a new three-fight deal with HBO. As Klitschko (62-3, 53 KOs) prepares for the fight he undoubtedly will have something else on his mind – the impending birth of his first child, a daughter, with actress and long-time partner Hayden Panettiere.
“She is due about two weeks after the fight,” Klitschko told ESPN during a recent interview. “Hopefully, the baby does not come before the fight. I hope things go well. It’s been a challenging time because I have obligations.”
While Panettiere is in the United States for the final weeks of her pregnancy, Klitschko was in training in the Austrian mountains before breaking camp and heading to Hamburg for the fight this week, including for a news conference on Monday.
“I will be with her after the fight,” said Klitschko, who rarely discusses his personal life. “We are having a girl and it’s very exciting. It’s my first child. It’s our first child. This is a child we both wanted and we are both looking forward to becoming parents. This child is the fruit of our love.”
Panettiere, 25, has been a fixture at ringside for numerous Klitschko fights but she won’t be there on Saturday.
“She is used to being at my fights so its difficult for her not to be able to be in the arena for this one,” Klitschko, 38, said. “After my [late] father she is my biggest fan. It’s definitely tough for her not to be there and it is tough for me not being with her right now, but that’s life. I do look forward to being with her after the fight for the birth of our daughter.”