Klitschko angrily denies retirement claims

Wladimir Klitschko has angrily denied claims that he is on the verge of retirement.

Klitschko barely threw a punch during his shock defeat to Tyson Fury last year, with the Ukrainian failing to re-enter the ring during the 13 months since losing his world championship.

However, ahead of an expected 2017 encounter against IBF world champion Anthony Joshua, Klitschko insists he is prepared to compete for many years to come.

Klitschko said: “That’s interesting that you are deciding I am towards the end of my career. May I correct you.

"There is nobody but myself who can speak about the end of my career.

“Whatever the imagination of you or other people is, I definitely look forward to the challenge and I’m not looking at this as the end of my career.

“I hope I’m going to be healthy enough to continue as long as I’m motivated. There are examples of guys fighting in their 50s who are doing pretty good. Not that I’m saying I’m going to still be active at 50, but who knows?

“I definitely feel great. I’m extremely motivated and I will bring it to the ring and do whatever it takes to win.”

Klitschko will be ringside to watch Joshua take on Eric Molina in Manchester this weekend, and he will be cheering the British champion on after seeing two proposed rematches against Fury fall through.

“I hope Joshua will win this fight and I’m confident he will do it impressively,” he added.

“I wouldn’t underestimate Molina. I sparred with him and he is tough.

“I hope the strongest man will win, which is Anthony, and then we will look forward to our match next year.”