"Thanks to everyone who has always supported me. Especially my family, my team and my many fans," Klitschko said in a statement

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August 03, 2017 02:51 PM

Former world champion Wladimir Klitschko announced his retirement from boxing on Thursday.

The 41-year-old was considering a rematch with Anthony Joshua, who scored an 11th round knockout of Klitschko in April.

“I deliberately took a few weeks to make my decision, to make sure I had enough distance from the fight at Wembley Stadium. 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.

“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.”

Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan/Getty

He has been engaged to Nashville star Hayden Panettiere since 2013, and they share a 2-year-old daughter, Kaya.

Klitschko finishes his career with a record of 64–5 with 53 knockouts and endured one of the longest unbeaten title defense runs in the sport’s history.

He had 23 successful title defenses in a two-decade career and lost his WBA IBF, WBO titles in 2015 after a unanimous decision defeat to Tyson Fury.

He started his career after winning the Olympic gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

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