HIS SPORTING LIFE: End of an era as Wladimir Klitschko retires with head held high

My HEART is at PEACE as I pass the torch to – the next generation. Good luck little bro, I’m proud of you!

9 August 2017 3:36PM

IN the overblown, scripted world of professional wrestling, there is an old tradition that a retiring fighter goes out on their back in their final contest as a way of passing the torch to the up-and-coming youngster.

There are no such traditions in the non-scripted – although no less overblown – world of heavyweight boxing, although it is easy to draw comparisons following Wladimir Klitschko’s announcing his retirement from the ring last week.

It means the final chapter of the Ukranian’s glittering career was closed with him being stopped in the 11th round of his final world title contest by Britain’s great heavyweight hope Anthony Joshua at Wembley in April, having lost his belts a year-and-a-half earlier to Tyson Fury.

Not quite going out on his back then perhaps, but there was certainly the sense of the standard bearer passing on the mantle from one generation to the next after referee David Fields jumped in to halt proceedings.

Rather than take up the option of a lucrative rematch in Las Vegas later this year, Klitschko decided to call it a day after much contemplation – delivering the announcement with the class and quiet dignity he has always carried himself with.