Wladimir Klitschko has announced his retirement from professional boxing with immediate effect, bringing an end to a legendary career that has spanned over 20 years.
The Ukrainian had toyed with the idea of attempting to avenge his loss to Anthony Joshua in a rematch of that Wembley classic back in April. However, in a sudden announcement earlier this week, Dr. Steelhammer pulled the curtains on a journey that sees him go down as one of the greatest heavyweights of all-time.
Klitschko is coming off back-to-back defeats to Tyson Fury and Joshua respectively, and at 41-years-old has decided to hang up his gloves, citing a lack of motivation to continue at the top of the game.
Having turned professional after winning gold at the 1996 Olympic Games, ‘Wlad’ went on to become one of the most dominant heavyweight champions in the history of the sport, amassing a record of 64-5, 53 KO.
You can view the statement he made officially announcing his retirement via his official social media accounts on Thursday, here.
Today, Klitschko posted a message to his apprentice-turned-rival, Anthony Joshua. ‘AJ’ was the last man to share the ring with the man he once idolised and used to help prepare in title fight training camps in the capacity of sparring. The former Team GB olympian stopped his opponent in the 11th round of an enthralling encounter where both fighters were knocked down in front of 90,000 spectators.
Joshua’s victory over Klitschko marked the turn of a new generation, a passing of the torch from one great champion to the young hungry lion. The mutual respect between the pair of competitors in the build up and aftermath of the bout represented everything that is great about sport.
On Thursday morning, a mere 24 hours after declaring his career as finished, Klitschko had this to say:
— Klitschko (@Klitschko) August 4, 2017
A classy statement from a classy champion.
Can AJ go on to eclipse what Wladimir has achieved in boxing? Only time will tell, but there is no doubting that he having learned from the best, he should be fully equipped to do so.