Hayden Panettiere splits from boxer boyfriend

Updated: May 13, 2011, 08:53 AM IST

Los Angeles: `Heroes` star Hayden Panettiere is single after splitting from Ukrainian boyfriend, boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko.

The couple decided to split after 18 months together because they couldn`t cope with the long distance relationship, reported a website.

"While we decided to split, we feel great sympathy and respect for each other and will surely stay close friends," said the blonde beauty in a statement jointly issued by her
and Klitschko.

"We had a great time together. But more and more we realised how difficult it is to maintain a relationship when living on two continents. I cherish Hayden as a person and
woman. I`m sure we will stay friends," said the boxer.

When the couple first got together in 2009, they raised plenty of eyebrows. Other than a 14-year age gap, the 21-year-old is also more than a foot shorter than the boxer who is based in Hamburg, Germany.