- Scott Heavey / Getty Images
Former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 41.
Klitschko confirmed the news on his YouTube channel on Thursday morning. His decision extinguishes any hopes of a rematch with Anthony Joshua, following his defeat to the British boxer in April.
Klitschko has been involved in boxing for 27 years as an amateur and a professional. He won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and turned professional later that year.
Klitschko put together a pro record of 64 wins against five losses and will be remembered for his victories over David Haye, Alexander Povetkin, Ruslan Chagaev, Samuel Peter, and Kubrat Pulev.
Klitschko fought a total of 29 heavyweight world title fights, more than any other heavyweight in boxing history. He held the heavyweight title for a total of nine years, making him the second longest reigning champion in history. Joe Louis held the title for 11 years.
- Al Bello / Getty Images
In his YouTube post, Klitschko said:
“Twenty-seven years ago I started my journey in sport and it was the best choice of a profession I could have ever made.
“Because of this choice, I’ve travelled the world, learned new languages, created business, built intellectual properties, helped people in need, became a scientist, entrepreneur, motivator, hotelier, trainer, investor, and much else.
“I was and am still capable of doing all this because of the global appeal of the sport of boxing, my own talent, and most importantly because of you, my loyal fans.
“At some point in our lives we need to, or just want to, switch our careers and get ourselves ready for the next chapter. A new course toward fresh challenges. Obviously, I am not an exception to this. And now is my turn.
“I’m honestly doing this with greatest respect for the new challenges and with tremendous excitement, passion, dedication, expecting, and hoping that my next career that I’ve been planning will at least be as successful as my previous one.
“Finally, instead of saying thanks and goodbye I want you to continue joining me in this new and exciting journey. When we’re together, we’re more creative, more efficient, more productive, and simply stronger in every way.
“Together, we’re the driving force.”