After a 27-year amateur and professional career in the sport of boxing, one of the most notable Heavyweight Champions has decided to “hang ’em up!” Wladimir Klitschko, 41, graciously and thoughtfully bowed out from the sport earlier today. Klitschko was entitled to a rematch of what was widely considered one of the best heavyweight matches in recent years. On April 29, 2017, Klitschko challenged IBF Champion Anthony Joshua to reclaim a belt he once held for 5 years in front of a sold-out crowd at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Klitschko was sent to the canvas once in the 5th round and twice in the 11th before the referee called an end to the bout. It was the first time Klitschko had been stopped in a fight since losing to Lamon Brewster in 2004.
Klitschko retires with a record of 64-5, having beaten notable champions and contenders to the likes of Chris Byrd (twice), Frans Botha, Ray Mercer, Jameel McCline, Sam Peter (twice), Ray Austin, Sultan Ibragimov, Tony Thompson (twice), Hasim Rahman, Ruslan Chagaev, David Haye, Alexander Povetkin, Kubrat Pulev, and Bryant Jennings. Don’t expect Klitschko to unretire after this. My belief is that he will not be back in the ring after the age of 41 and all that he has accomplished. Although, with his large fanbase, humble demeanor, and love of the sport, I anticipate Wladimir will make appearances around the ring at many future megafights – especially those bouts where his previously-held belts are on the line.
video courtesy of ESPN Sports