Legendary heavyweight boxer Wladimir Klitschko has announced his retirement from the sport. The news came yesterday following an epic 21-year boxing career for the 41-year-old Ukrainian fighter. There had been talk of a potential rematch in the works for Klitschko, but he decided to end his career after suffering two consecutive losses.

Klitschko's final fights and a rematch that will never happen

On November 28, 2015, Wladimir Klitschko lost to British contender Tyson Fury (25-0) via unanimous decision (116-111, 115-112, 115-112).

This massive upset was only the fourth of Klitschko's career and caused him to lose the heavyweight title that he had held for almost 10 years.

On April 29, he fought what turned out to be his last match against 27-year-old British boxer Anthony Johnson (19-0). Johnson held the IBF title, which was on the line, along with the vacant WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight titles. In front of a crowd of 90,000 in sold-out Wembley Stadium, Johnson stopped Klitschko in the 11th round of a rousing fight to become the world heavyweight champion.

Klitschko had the option after the loss to accept an immediate rematch with Johnson, which many thought he would take. Supposedly, both sides were in talks for a November 11th fight in Las Vegas before the retirement announcement.

Summing up a legendary boxing career

Wladimir Klitschko's first professional fight took place back in November 1996, following a Gold Medal victory in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The heavyweight fighter, whose nickname was Dr. Steelhammer, would go on to become a two-time world champion and become one of the most decorated boxers in history.

His first world title reign started on October 14, 2000 with a victory over Chris Byrd. He made five title defenses until a shocking loss in March 2003 to Corrie Sanders.

His second world title reign, which started on April 22, 2006 after a victory against Byrd, extended until his loss to Fury, and was one of the most dominant in boxing history. Klitschko's total reign of 9 years, 7 months, and 7 days was the second longest heavyweight tenure in history. Only the legendary Joe Louis at 11 years, 8 months, and 8 days had a longer tenure.

During that time, he made 18 title defenses, the third most in heavyweight history. This is only behind Larry Holmes (20) and Louis (25). He finishes his career with a record of 64-5, including 53 victories by knockout. In all, he had 29 heavyweight title fights -- two more than Louis, who held the previous record.

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