Anthony Joshua offers humble farewell to retiring rival Wladimir Klitschko
They'll always have those 11 rounds from April, 2017.
The rematch the boxing world was crying out for will not take place as Wladimir Klitschko has hung up his gloves, ending fans' hopes for a second clash with Anthony Joshua.
On Thursday, Klitschko announced that he had decided to retire amid talks that the final touches were being put on an agreement to see him seek vengeance against Joshua in Las Vegas this November.
Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn visited the fight capital of the world last month and it looked very likely that Joshua vs. Klitschko II was on the cards.
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
But the Ukrainian legend instead opted to call it a career, releasing the below statement in which he explained his decision.
"I deliberately took a few weeks to make my decision, to make sure I had enough distance from the fight at Wembley Stadium," Klitschko said.
"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."
The 41-year-old went on to claim that he was passing the torch to Joshua, having been stopped by the Brit in the penultimate round of their Wembley meeting four months ago.
And Joshua responded with the classiest of farewells to the man he dethroned in his highest profile bout to date.
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) August 4, 2017
Great to see.