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August 03, 2017

WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO RETIRES

According to the BBC, Wladimir Klitschko, the former world heavyweight champion and a future Hall of Famer, has announced his retirement from the sport of boxing at the age of 41.  The news means that Klitschko has declined a lucrative championship rematch against WBA/IBF champion Anthony Joshua of England. Klitschko, from the Ukraine, began his pro career in Germany, and exits with a record of 64-5.  He had a nineteen-year career, and his first title reign began in 2000 with a win over Chris Byrd. Losses to Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster had critics questioning his chin and heart for a time, but Klitschko proved them all wrong by going on a nearly 11-year reign of terror. During a 22-0 run from 2004 through 2015, he practically cleaned out the heavyweight division, with the notable exception of his older brother Vitali (Lennox Lewis retired as champion in 2003). During that streak, Wladimir collected three of the four major titles, with Vitali holding the fourth.  Wladimir's career ended with losses to two British fighters, Tyson Fury and Joshua, although he very nearly beat Joshua in a thrilling war.  If that is his swansong, Klitschko leaves the sport on a high note, as one of the top five heavyweights in the world and a true gentleman.  Boxingtalk wishes Wladimir Klitschko a successful and satisfying retirement. --Scott Shaffer 



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