After Wladimir Klitschko’s shock retirement announcement, it would appear that his match with Anthony Joshua has been knocked on the head.
The two met for their first bout in April of this year at Wembley Stadium, with Klitschko suffering defeat in the hard-fought battle.
They were set to come face-to-face again in November, but with Klitschko’s retirement from the sport, the fight is obviously off.
Speaking to Sky Sports News this morning Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, said:
I got the text very early this morning… and that’s it, he’s done.
Whether or not he had gone into training camp and found he didn’t have the desire to do it anymore.
I heard the news this morning from Bernd Boente that Wladimir Klitschko has decided to retire from boxing. We wish him all the success ??
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) August 3, 2017
It was a very tough fight, his last one, but I wish him absolutely all the success in the world.
He’s been incredible and he’s had an exceptional career.
Anthony Joshua‘s next opponent has also been revealed, now that this clash has been cancelled.
The IBO World Heavyweight champion will be squaring off against Kubrat Pulev.
Hearn revealed that if the fight between Joshua and Klitschko never got to take place, then it would be Pulev who would take to the ring.
This was part of the International Boxing Federation’s requirements for clearing the Klitschko/Joshua match.
We’ve already got talks in place with Kalle Sauerland, his promoter.
Part of me is quite pleased that we can draw a line under this and move on. I think fight fans are going to see an announcement sooner than they would have with a Klitschko fight.
We can move on with a mandatory challenger and look towards more belts in the division.
Pulev is a 36-year-old with a boxing record of 25 wins for 26 matches, with 13 by KO. He has suffered only one loss.
The Bulgarian has held the European Heavyweight title twice, between 2012-2013 and 2016.
The fight between Joshua and Pulev is currently not scheduled, but Cardiff is being mooted as a likely venue as the Joshua/Klitschko rematch was set for the Welsh capital.
Klitschko’s retirement announcement was released this morning, and demand was so high for the announcement that it broke the server.
The statement reads:
I deliberately took a few weeks to make my decision, to make sure I had enough distance from the fight at Wembley Stadium.
As an amateur and a professional boxer, I have achieved everything I dreamed of, and now I want to start my second career after sports.
I would have never imagined that I would have such a long and incredibly successful boxing career. I’m very thankful for this.
Thanks to everyone who has always supported me. Especially my family, my team and my many fans.
Klitschko since released a video explaining his decision:
Wow! So many people interested in my statement. Server broke down. So look here…https://t.co/iZnjFtxHeT
— Klitschko (@Klitschko) August 3, 2017
The fight between Joshua and Klitschko will go down as one of the classics, and it’s upsetting to think we’ll never get to see this legend in the ring again.
But still, the upcoming fight between Joshua and Pulev should do more than enough to satisfy our boxing needs.