In June 2017 the boxing community was stunned when Anthony Joshua defeated Wladimir Klitschko in an epic 11th-round stoppage at Wembley stadium. For years the imperious Ukrainian had dominated the division with apparent ease, swatting aside all challengers to the throne.
Despite losing his crown in front of 90,000 at Wembley, Wladimir will always remain a legend of the sport. In a career boasting 369 rounds and 69 fights, the Ukrainian triumphed in 64 of those fights, winning 53 by knockout. In this article we look back at some of ‘Dr Steelhammer’s’ most memorable fights.
Klitschko’s Top 4 Fights
August 1996, Atlanta
Opponent: Paea Wolfgramm
Wladimir announced himself on the world stage at the Olympic Games in 1996, defeating his Tongan opponent with consummate ease. Klitschko had overcome the gold medal favourite Aleksei Lezin previously and was a heavy favourite to win the final. He didn’t disappoint and sealed the gold medal that told the world he had arrived.
Dr Steelhammer sealed all-round nice guy status 5 years ago when he sold his gold medal for $1 million, donating all the funds to the ‘Klitschko Foundation’ a charity designed to help underprivileged children in his native Ukraine.
WBO & IBF Heavyweight Titles
June 2009, Gelsenkirchen
Opponent: Ruslan Chagaev
61,000 fans watched a boxing masterclass as Klitschko tore apart the Uzbek challenger in 9 rounds, with the referee eventually putting Chagaev out of his misery. Klitschko masterfully took advantage of his superior reach, sending Chagaev to the mat in the second round and ruthlessly targeting an open wound thereafter to secure a technical knockout.
November 2014, Hamburg
Opponent: Kubrat Pulev
Two fights before losing to Tyson Fury, Klitschko took on the Bulgarian contender Pulev, who was in high spirits after winning his previous 20 fights. Klitschko delivered four knockdowns in the fight, all of which came courtesy of his supposed weak left-hook. In the fifth round Pulev was hit with a ferocious left-hook that condemned him to defeat. Klitschko had defended his title for seemingly the millionth time.
April 2006, Mannheim
Opponent: Chris Byrd
In the wake of a shock defeat to Lamon Brewster, Klitschko looked to seal his comeback by defeating American fighter Chris Byrd, who was widely recognised as the best fighter in the world. He did, with little to no resistance and the fight was ended in the 7th round, thus Wladimir was awarded the IBF Heavyweight title.
In recent years things have been tougher for the man from Ukraine, a loss to Tyson Fury was followed by another loss to young British upstart Anthony Joshua, which ultimately signalled his retirement from the game.
Watford born Anthony Joshua boasts a formidable record, unbeaten in 19 fights and fond of a knockout he certainly has a big career ahead of him. It has been suggested that Joshua will go on to dominate the division for years to come.
Whether he will or not is yet to be seen. Luis Ortiz definitely fancies his chances at the title but 888sport make Kubrat Pulev the heavy favourite to be his next opponent. Pulev has previously held the European Heavyweight title twice, from 2012 to 2013 and in 2016. Anthony Joshua is likely to have a good idea of his next opponent very soon, he is currently waiting to see IBF are going to enforce a mandatory title defence against Pulev.