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Hayden Panettiere splits from boxer boyfriend

WENN, Thursday, May 12, 2011, 4:11am (PDT)

Hollywood actress Hayden Panettiere has ended her romance with her boxer boyfriend Wladimir Klitschko.

The "Heroes" star, 21, had been dating the Ukrainian sportsman, 35, since 2009, but they now reveal the relationship is over.

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Panettiere confirmed the news in a statement, obtained by Germany's Bunte.de, while the boxer has blamed the split on their struggle to maintain a long-distance relationship.

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Panettiere's statement reads, "While we decided to split, we feel great sympathy and respect for each other and will surely stay close friends."

Klitschko adds, "We had a great time together. But more and more we realized 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."

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Panettiere previously dated her Heroes co-star Milo Ventimiglia. They split in early 2009.

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