The war at Wembley will now forever be seen as the moment the torch passed from the mentor to the student – the night Joshua became the new king.
But, their will be no rematch and Joshua must now begin to think about another opponent.
Joshua insisted the day before Klitschko’s announcement that he wanted the rematch, but was happy to move on to other fights.
Anthony Joshua’s Record: Wins19KOs19Fights19Losses0
So, who could Joshua fight next? The 27-year-old has already said he will fight again in November and he could still make his debut on American soil.
The following are the most likely opponents to step into the ring with Joshua next:
This is the man most likely to face Joshua next.
Kubrat Pulev is the mandatory IBF challenger and was in line to challenge Joshua before Eddie Hearn acquired a reprieve from the fight.
But, now that Klitschko has retired, Joshua must face Pulev or risk being stripped of his IBF crown.
Get the defence out of the way and Joshua will be free to compete in a super-fight in early 2018, just as he when he fought Eric Molina in December 2016 before moving onto Klitschko.
Pulev is fresh off a unanimous decision win over Kevin Johnson in April and would have been delighted to see Klitsckho’s announcement on Thursday.
The 36-year-old was knocked out by Klitschko in November 2014, but will fancy his chances against an ever-improving Joshua.
The Klitschko defeat remains the only blemish on the record of the current WBA Inter-Continental champion.
This one is far too complicated for Joshua.
Joseph Parker is scheduled to fight Hughie Fury in September in Manchester and will defend his WBO title for just the second time.
The New Zealander is considered easy pickings by the other seasoned heavyweights, but Hearn cannot negotiate a unification fight with him until after September.
Joshua will not be interested in waiting around till September to see if he might fight Parker and should Fury win that further complicates matters.
Too messy – Joshua will not be challenging for the WBO title next.
Honestly, it seems a bit useless to even mention Tyson Fury at this stage.
The Brit announced his own retirement last week after months of chasing a Joshua fight and although it seems many are skeptical about the seriousness of his decision, there will be no Fury vs Joshua anytime soon.
Fury is no condition to fight physically, and it now seems mentally, and will not be able to resolve those issues before November.
There’s also the small fact Fury does not have a boxing licence and UKAD will not rule on his anti-doping charge until later this year.
Deontay Wilder is the next super-fight for Joshua, but we won’t see these two knockout artists go toe-to-toe until next year.
The WBC champion looks set to fight mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne next with the No.1 contender insisting on the rematch and blocking Wilder’s efforts to fight Luis Ortiz.
Joshua versus Wilder would easily be the biggest heavyweight clash in 2018 and the Brit would see his stardom sky rocket again by adding the WBC title to his collection.
Wilder is certainly on Joshua’s super-fight hit list, but fans will have to wait.