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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Video: Wladimir Klitschko retires from boxing after turning down Anthony Joshua rematch

Wladimir Klitschko has retired from boxing after opting not to fight Anthony Joshua in a heavyweight world title clash in Las Vegas.

Klitschko had been deliberating over whether to take on Joshua for a second time this year, with a fight provisionally agreed for Nov 11 at the T-Mobile Arena.

But he has decided not to pursue the rematch and will instead quit the sport with immediate effect. He announced his decision in a video posted on his official website this morning.

He 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 travelled the world, learned new languages, created business, built intellectual properties, helped people in need.

“Became a scientist, entrpreneur, motivator, hotelier, trainer, investor and much else. I was, and I still am, capable of doing all this because of the global appeal of sport and 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 and fresh challenges.

“Obviously, I’m not an exception to this and now it’s my turn. I’m honestly doing this with greatest respect for these new challenges.

“But also with tremendous excitement, passion, dedication, expecting and hoping that my next career will be at least as successful as my previous one, if not even more successful.

“Finally, instead of just saying, ‘hey, 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.”

Klitschko, 41, was defeated by Joshua in a thrilling title fight at Wembley Stadium in April. The Ukrainian was stopped in the 11th round, having at one point looked certain to win.

His decision to retire means Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn will now have to find a new opponent for November. The Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev, the mandatory IBF challenger, is the most likely option.

Klitschko has been a fixture at the top level of the heavyweight division ever since he won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

He retires with a record of 64-5-0, having held the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles for much of the last decade. He went 11 years unbeaten between 2004 and 2015, before suffering a shock defeat at the hands of Tyson Fury in Germany.

Joshua had admitted earlier this week that Klitschko's delay over whether to accept a rematch suggested he was considering his future.

Sources: Yahoo News.

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