Hayden Panettiere splits from Hayden Wladimir

(BANG) -

Hayden Panettiere and her boyfriend Wladimir Klitschko have split up.

The actress and the heavyweight champion boxer have decided to call time on their 18-month romance because they couldn't cope with having a long-distance relationship.

Hayden, 21, lives in the US, while 35-year-old Wladimir - who was raised in the Ukraine - is based in Hamburg, Germany.

A statement from Hayden said: "While we decided to split, we feel great sympathy and respect for each other and will surely stay close friends."

Wladimir added: "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."

Wladimir - whose brother Vitali Klitschko is also a world champion boxer - is currently in training for his heavyweight title unification bout with British fighter David Haye which takes place at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg, Germany, on July 2.

(C) BANG Media International