Wladimir Klitschko has shocked the boxing world by announcing his retirement from the ring.
The 41-year-old recently lost a world heavyweight title bout against British boxer Anthony Joshua, and this update ends Joshua’s hopes of a Las Vegas rematch.
Ukrainian-born Klitschko released a statement online to share the news with his fans, but the site immediately crashed due to high demand.
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
Over his 21 year career, he held the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles.
Klitschko ruled the heavyweight division for almost a decade 10 years before he lost to Tyson Fury in 2015.
After taking a hiatus, he returned to the ring to fight young Brit, Anthony Joshua, but was dispatched by TKO in the eleventh round.
The Ukrainian athlete made his professional debut in 1996 and went on to fight 69 times, winning 64 of his bouts with 53 of those by knock out.
He also became an Olympic gold medallist at the 1996 Atlanta games in the super-heavyweight division.
What a loss to the sport, but good luck to a legend on this next chapter.