Wladimir Klitschko officially retires from the sport of boxing
Farewell To A Legend: Boxing Great Wladimir Klitschko Retires From The Sport Of Boxing
Published: August 3, 2017
Former two-time world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs) has decided to hang up the gloves on a stellar twenty-one-year career in the sport of boxing.
Dr. Steelhammer as he was affectionately known as leaves the sport as one of the most accomplished fighters of all time. He captured Gold at the 1996 Olympic games before turning pro later that year. He would go on to win his first 24 bouts (22 via knockout) before suffering his first loss to veteran Ross Puritty (31-20-3 27 KOs).
In October of 2000, Klitschko would challenge Chris Byrd for the WBO heavyweight title. Wladimir dropped Byrd twice en route to a unanimous decision victory and his first world title which he successfully defended five times prior to being knocked out by South Africa's Corey Sanders in March of 2003. The fight was named The Ring Magazine Upset Of The Year for 2003.
Klitschko would the enlist the services of Legendary trainer Emanuel Steward and would challenge Lamon Brewster for the WBO heavyweight title in April of 2004. Klitschko dropped Brewster in the fourth round; however, Brewster would come back in the fight forcing Klitschko to take a standing eight count eventually falling to the canvas after the bell rang forcing the referee to stop the fight at the end of the fifth round.
After the Brewster fight, Wladimir Klitschko would resurrect his career with wins of DaVarryl Williamson, Eliseo Castillo, and undefeated, power punching heavyweight Samuel Peter in an IBF and WBO eliminator.
In April of 2006, Klitschko would once again face and defeat champion Chris Byrd for the IBF and IBO heavyweight titles.
Klitschko would avenge his earlier loss to Lamon Brewster stopping him in six rounds setting up a unification bout with WBO champion Sultan Ibragimov. He would go on to dominate the fight with Ibragimov winning every round to unify the titles.
Wladimir went on an impressive win streak after his 2004 loss to Brewster remaining unbeaten for eleven years before dropping a shocking unanimous decision loss to English heavyweight Tyson Fury in November of 2015.
Wladimir Klitschko would cap off his career challenging current IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in a fight that saw the largest crowd (90,000) in the post war era. The fight was a great one as both men were dropped Klitschko first in the fifth, who scored his own knockdown in the sixth only to be dropped again twice in the eleventh round forcing the referee to stop the contest.
Wladimir Klitschko is third all time amongst heavyweights for successful titles defenses with 18, only trailing the great Joe Louis (25) and Larry Holmes (20). Klitschko is also the second longest reigning heavyweight champion in the history of the sport behind Louis.
We bid farewell to one of the King's of the ring Wladimir Klitschko
Feature Photo: Sasha Maslov