Wladimir Klitschko, boxing's former heavyweight champion who went undefeated for 11 years at one point, has announced his retirement.
Klitschko released a statement on his website detailing the reasons for the retirement. He had also released a video, which can be seen above, going into a little more detail into this decision.
"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 have traveled the world, learned new languages, create businesses, build intellectual properties, help people in need, became a scientist, entrepreneur, motivator, trainer, investor and much else. I was, and still is, capable of doing all of this because of the global appeal of the sport of boxing, my own talent, and most importantly, you, my loyal fans. At some point in our lives we need to switch careers and get ourselves ready for the next chapter and charge towards new challenges. Obviously, I'm not an exception to this, and now it's my turn. I'm doing this with the greatest respect to these new challenges, but obviously with tremendous excitement, passion, dedication, expectation and hope that my next career, which I had been planning and working on for several years will be at least as successful as my previous career, if not even more successful," Klitschko said in the video.
Klitschko was the unified WBA "super", IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight champions, before losing his titles to Tyson Fury in late 2015. The two had been scheduled to have a rematch throughout 2016, but injuries to both fighters and failed drug tests on the part of Fury canceled the fight.
It was at that point in late 2016 that all the heavyweight titles that Fury held were vacated and so Anthony Joshua won the IBF title. After defeating Eric Molina last year, Joshua vs. Klitschko was made official. The two fought in April where Klitschko was knocked out late in the fight and Joshua retained the IBF title and won the vacant WBA title.
A Joshua vs. Klitschko rematch was rumored to take place in Las Vegas in November, but that rematch was never made official. Klitschko retires with a 64-5 pro record with 53 wins coming via knockout. Klitschko started his pro career in 1996.