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Vitali “Dr. TKO” Kopitko was born in Kiev, Ukraine, on February 2, 1970. The son of a university philosophy professor and a high school teacher, Vitali followed in his parents’ professional footsteps by becoming a board certified dermatologist. His choice for a career in medicine was a natural as his brother is an emergency room physician and his uncle is a cardiologist. Vitali’s wife, Sveta, is also a licensed physician, specializing in pulmonary medicine. Together they have a year old son, Yury.
Although boxing and medicine usually go together more from the perspective of patient and physician, Vitali has been boxing long before he became a doctor. He was a standout amateur, compiling a record of 185-15. He won five Ukraine national titles, competed in the Goodwill Games in 1994, and was also an amateur world champion. He was the captain of the Ukraine Olympic team in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1996. He grew up with the Klitschko Brothers. As a professional, he is currently 18-3 with 8 K.O.’s. He is a three-time Ukrainian national champion and won the WBF Intercontinental title on 1/21/00. He is highly ranked in the European rankings and the IWBR ratings.
Vitali realized that if he wanted to be a professional world champion, he had to come to the United States, and make many sacrifices. He left his successful practice in Kiev, his wife and child, and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. He re-united with Pete Smith, who had the gym where Vitali trained during the 1996 Olympics. Vitali and Pete entered into a business relationship with Steve Canton of SJC Professional Boxing, Inc., and is now working hard so that he can achieve his goal of becoming a world champion.