Posts Tagged ‘1996 Summer Olympics’

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Wladimir Klitschko, whose second of two title reigns was the second-longest in heavyweight boxing history, announced his retirement from the sport on Thursday, a little over three months after he was stopped in the 11th round of a thrilling, back-and-forth fight with up-and-coming star Anthony Joshua.

Klitschko, 41, held a rematch clause with England’s Joshua, but opted for retirement following a sensational 21-year pro career which included an all-time record 29 heavyweight championship fights.

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

The Ukrainian, known as “Dr. Steelhammer,” won the super heavyweight gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He claimed the WBO heavyweight title in an October 2000 win over Chris Byrd, defending it five times before an upset knockout loss to Corrie Sanders in March 2003. Three fights later while challenging for the same belt in April 2004, he was stopped again, this time by Lamon Brewster.

But Klitschko wouldn’t lose another fight until November 2015 (to Tyson Fury), reeling off 22 straight victories, including his 9-plus year run as heavyweight champion from 2006-15, during which he unified three belts. Only Joe Louis held the title for longer.

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Source: News-Democrat
The News-Democrat interviewed Kurt Angle this weekend, who threw the first pitch at the Gateway Grizzlies game on Friday. Below are a couple of highlights:
The single greatest achievement in his career:

“I get asked that question quite often. What was the single greatest achievement of my career? Was it winning the WWE title? Was it winning the TNA heavyweight championship? No, it was winning the Olympic Gold medal. It defined my career. It defined my life,” Angle said. “Aside from being a dad four times with a fifth one on the way, it’s the highlight.”
Why he is taking this year off:
“Wrestling professionally is a great life, but it’s also a very grueling and demanding lifestyle we as wrestlers go through. I mean we’re on the road constantly, doing between 250 to 300 shows each year. Hitting the mat as much as we do, it takes its toll on us physically.
“That’s why I said, I’m taking this year off to let my body rest and heal.”