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MOSCOW, August 3. /TASS/. One of the world’s most prominent heavyweight boxers Wladimir ‘Dr. Steelhammer’ Klitschko of Ukraine announced on Thursday his decision to wrap up his boxing career.
"Twenty-seven years ago I started my journey in sport, and it was the best choice of a profession I could have ever made," Klitschko said in a video address posted on his official website making his statement in English, Ukrainian, Russian and German.
"Because of this choice, I travelled the world, learned new languages, created business, built intellectual properties, helped people in need," he said. "Became a scientist, entrepreneur, 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 and chart a new course and fresh challenges," the 41-year-old boxer said. "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."
"Finally, instead of just saying, ‘hey, thanks and goodbye’, I want you to continue joining me in this new and exciting journey," the Ukrainian boxer added.
Stepping into the realm of boxing and being dubbed by fans as ‘Dr. Steelhammer,’ Klitschko chalked up a total of 69 bouts during his professional career, winning 64 of them, including 53 by KOs, yet losing only five. He is also the Olympic champion of the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, USA.
Being 198 centimeters (6 feet 6 inches) tall and with the punch reach of 206 centimeters (81 inches), Klitschko held the heavyweight champion’s belts in the World Boxing Organization (WBO, 2000-2003, 2008-2015), the International Boxing Federation (IBF, 2006-2015) and the World Boxing Association (WBA, 2011-2015).
His most recent and, as it turns out after today, his last career fight took place at the Wembley Stadium on April 29 against British heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua (W19, L0, 19 KOs). Klitschko lost the bout in 11th round with a technical knockout, with Joshua defending his IBF belt and clinching the WBA belt.
The contract between Klitschko and Joshua for that fight also stipulated a return bout in the future, tentatively scheduled for November 11 in Las Vegas, but obviously it will not happen after Klitschko’s decision to end his boxing career.