Former heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko has announced his retirement from boxing Thursday.
The 41-year-old Ukrainian, whose professional career started in 1996 after he won the Olympic gold in Atlanta, dominated the heavyweight scene for a decade but lost to U.K.'s Anthony Joshua in April after being knocked out in the 11th round.
"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," Klitschko said in a statement released by his management.
He said that he had deliberately taken a few weeks to reach a decision "to make sure I had enough distance from the (Joshua) fight at Wembley Stadium."
"I never thought I'd have such a long and successful sporting career, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart," he told his fans.
Klitscko, known to fans as 'Dr. Steelhammer,' hangs up his gloves as one of the all-time greats of the ring after a nine-and-a-half year reign as heavyweight champion.
The Ukrainian boxer unified the Heavyweight titles of WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO. From 2008 to 2012 the Klitschko brothers, Vitali as WBC Champion, were World Champions at the same time and held all the important heavyweight world titles.
Wladimir Klitschko's professional career stands at 64 wins in 69 bouts, 54 by knockouts. He competed in 29 world title fights, which is a unique record in heavyweight boxing.