Congratulations, Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko!
The actress and boxer are officially engaged, according to Us Weekly. Despite Panettiere playing coy in the media about their relationship status, often saying they're just friends, the couple was spotted days ago openly kissing courtside at a Miami Heat game.
Although the Nashville star has dated non-athletes in the past—including MTV VJ Stephen Colletti and Heroes co-star Milo Ventimiglia—she has openly admitted her preference for dating handsome jocks. "They're in similar circles, where they understand the schedule, the work ethic, the social aspect," she explained to Us. "But they're not exactly in your industry, so it works out well."
The couple rekindled their romance this past December after throwing in the towel in 2011. She briefly found comfort in the arms of NY Jets wide-receiver Scotty McKnight, but broke off that romance in December when Klitschko stole her heart once again.
Sources say that Hayden is not ready to announce the engagement yet, but you can catch up on your Klitschko-knowledge in the meantime. Here are five facts about the Ukrainian boxer engaged to a Hollywood knock out:
- Wladimir towers over Hayden by more than a foot! Klitschko is 6-foot-6, while Hayden measures 5-foot-2. The couple first locked eyes when Hayden stated, "You're huge!" What was Wladimir's response? "You're tiny!"
- Klitschko is the fifth longest reigning Heavyweight Champion of all time. He gets in line next to Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Larry Holmes, and John L. Sullivan—not bad, Wladimir, not bad!
- Hayden's reported fiancé is 37-years-old. That makes him 14 years older than petite Panettiere, who is 23. At 35, Milo Ventimiglia was 12 years her senior.
- Not only is Klitschko a Heavyweight Champion, he also has some acting cred. He previously had a part in Ocean's Eleven, and was the main attraction in Chris Cornell's 2008 music video "Part of Me."
- Last March, Wladimir auctioned off his 1996 Olympic gold medal for a cool million—but that loot wasn't used for Hayden's sure-to-be epic ring. Wladimir donated all of the funds toward helping Ukrainian children in need (and the medal was later returned to him out of respect). Good work, Hayden, he's a keeper!
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