Former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko's retirement from boxing will affect a planned rematch against  Anthony Joshua.

"After my last fight against Anthony Joshua, I deliberately took the time to make a decision," said Klitschko, whose elder brother Vitali, 46, is also a former world heavyweight boxing champion.

"I never thought I'd have such a long and incredibly successful boxing career, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart," he told his fans in a statement.

Klitschko bows out with a record of 64 wins and five defeats with 54 knock-out wins professional bouts.

"I have achieved everything I dreamt of, and now I want to start my second career after sports," added Klitschko in a video statement.

"27 years ago, I started my journey and it was the best decision I could have ever made.

"Because of this choice, I have travelled the world, learnt new languages, created businesses, built intellectual properties, helped people in need.

"I became a scientist, an entrepeneur, a motivator, a leader, a trainer, an investor and much more.

"I'm still able to do all this because of the global appeal of the sport of boxing.

"At some point in our lives, we need or just want to switch our careers and get ready for the next challenges, I'm no exception.

"Now it is my turn, I'm honestly doing this with respect for the new challenges and also with tremendous excitement, passion and dedication.

"I am expecting and hoping that my next career, which I have been planning and working on for a few years, will be at least as successful as my old one."

The 41-year-old's last fight was in April when he was stopped by Joshua in the 11th round of the WBA title fight at Wembley Stadium in London in a hard-fought bout in which both fighters hit the canvas.

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