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Find the Thrones

by M.G. Siegler


Wladimir Klitschko retires from boxing

Dan Rafael:

Klitschko's second world title reign, from his 2006 victory over Chris Byrd to the loss to Fury in 2015, was one of the most dominant in boxing history in any weight division. He was rarely challenged as he rolled past top opponent after top opponent to unify three belts. He never had a chance for the fourth belt, however, because older brother Vitali Klitschko, also a future Hall of Famer, held it for several years. But Wladimir Klitschko never had a problem with being unable to obtain the fourth title because he and his brother had often stated that their goal was to hold the titles at the same time, which they accomplished. They had also promised their mother that they would never fight each other.

Sort of amazing they held true to this -- it would have been an amazing spectacle in a sport of spectacles.

Klitschko's second reign lasted for 9 years, 7 months and 7 days, the second-longest heavyweight title tenure in history behind only Louis, who held the title for 11 years, 8 months and 8 days. During the reign, Klitschko made 18 consecutive defenses, third-most in division history behind only two other legends, Louis (25, the all-time record for any weight class) and Larry Holmes (20).

While few now seem to care about heavyweight boxing (might Anthony Joshua change that?), this was an insanely impressive run any way you slice it. It wasn't just the years, it was the number of defenses. 


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