Wladimir Klitschko announces his retirement from boxing

Wladimir Klitschko has announced his his retirement from boxing, meaning any potential rematch with Anthony Joshua has now been called off. 

Boxing fans were hoping to see Klitschko-Joshua II in Las Vegas this coming November, but with the Ukrainian’s announcement over his YouTube channel [see at bottom], it means Klitschko’s final fight will end in defeat against AJ:

“I deliberately took a few weeks to make my decision, to make sure I had enough distance from the fight at Wembley Stadium.

“As an amateur and a professional boxer, I have achieved everything I dreamed of, and now I want to start my second career after sports.”

— Wladimir Klitschko

In a career that stretches over 21 years, Dr. Steelhammer will go down as one of the greatest heavyweights to grace the sport.

The Ukrainian unified the heavyweight division and has a boxing record of 64-5-0 after turning professional in 1996 following his gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics – a medal he auctioned off at a charity event in 2012 for $1million.

For Joshua, it means Eddie Hearn and his entourage will have to organise a fight with the IBF challenger, Kubrat Pulev, for Joshua’s next opponent; AJ is then likely to fight American, Deontay Wilder, in 2018.

Klitschko’s final two fights ended in defeat against British challenges Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, which appeared to be the final nail in the coffin for the Ukrainian.

Wladimir’s career saw him retain the IBF belt for nine years; it’s the second longest period a heavyweight has retained a belt only behind Joe Louis.