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Wladimir Klitschko (left) was beaten in a heavyweight championship bout by Anthony Joshua in April / Photo: AFP

Klitschko retires after turning down Anthony Joshua rematch

It was the final goodbye from Wladimir Klitschko as the once heavyweight champion turned down a rematch offer and a $30 million payday to quit the sport.

Klitschko was supposed to fight Joshua in a rematch in November after losing their heavyweight champions bout in April.

The 41-year-old Ukranian announced his retirement via a video message on Wednesday in which he started by highlighting what he has achieved with boxing.

“I have achieved everything I dreamed of, and now I want to start my second career after sports,” Klitschko said.

“I would have never imagined that I would have such a long and incredibly successful boxing career.”

Klitschko was the heavyweight champion twice in his career that spanned 21 years, holding the title from 2006-2015 before losing to Tyson Fury.

The Ukrainian ends his career with a record of 64 wins and five defeats.

His journey in professional boxing kicked off when he won Olympic super-heavyweight gold at the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

Klitschko’s retirement means Joshua will now defend his International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association title belts against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev, on a new date, in the UK.

Austin Ohaegbu

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