Klitschko manager: I hope Joshua dominates like Wladimir did
The manager of Wladimir Klitschko, who announced his retirement from boxing on Thursday, hopes Anthony Joshua can emulate the Ukrainian's sustained success in the heavyweight division.
Klitschko has opted to end his illustrious career at the age of 41 with a record of 64 wins and five defeats, having dominated the heavyweight ranks together with elder brother Vitali for more than a decade.
By hanging up his gloves, Klitschko has ended talk of a potential rematch with Joshua, who triumphed via an 11th-round stoppage when the pair met in an epic contest at Wembley Stadium in April.
Bernd Boente, the Ukrainian's long-term manager, believes Joshua would be a worthy successor to Klitschko as the top dog of boxing's blue-riband division.
Boente told Sky Sports News: "I personally cross my fingers that he [Joshua] dominates the division for as long as Wladimir did.
"He is a fantastic champion. He has the personality, the ability. I think he can definitely make it."
Boente added: "I think also Wladimir crosses his fingers that he [Joshua] and his team will be as successful as he was and his brother was," before jokingly adding: "I don't know if Anthony has also a brother who fights."
A rematch between Joshua and Klitschko looked to have been close to being finalised, with the Briton's promoter, Eddie Hearn, suggesting a November bout in Las Vegas was likely.
"I have to say also thank you to Eddie Hearn and Matchroom. We had a fantastic cooperation," said Boente. "Eddie, I know, understands, because he works with so many fighters, he understands if a fighter hasn't the fire any more, then it's definitely better to retire."
Asked what Klitschko is likely to do next, Boente continued: "Wladimir has many, many ways to go. He's a successful entrepreneur and he is not a lazy person. He loves to do different things and mostly things outside of boxing. He is an intelligent person and many companies would like to work with him."