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Harrison retires from boxing

2013-05-01 14:51
Audley Harrison (Gallo Images)

London - Olympic gold medallist Audley Harrison said Tuesday he was retiring from professional boxing following his latest loss.

The 41-year-old Briton suffered a first round knockout by Deontay Wilder of the United States in Sheffield, northern England, on Saturday.

"There are only so many times you can fall before it becomes foolhardy to continue," said Harrison, whose professional career failed to build on the promise he showed as an amateur boxer.

"I've fallen a lot, but winning the (world) heavyweight title was a destination I really wanted to get to. Coming back from adversity has been synonymous with my life.

"I've done well to turn my life around, but sadly my dream to be a legitimate world champion will be unrealised," added Harrison, in a statement headlined 'I'm retiring' on his official website.

Harrison became the first British boxer to win an Olympic gold medal in the super-heavyweight category at the 2000 Games in Sydney and, as a pro, did challenge for a world title. But a series of uninspiring contests led to him acquiring the unflattering nickname of 'Fraudley'.

The high point of his professional career came when he challenged compatriot David Haye for the WBA world heavyweight title in November 2010 only to be stopped in the third round.

It appeared Harrison's career was at an end following a first round defeat by another British heavyweight, David Price, in October last year but he kept going as a result of winning the Prizefighter competition, a made for television tournament for professional boxers.

However, Saturday's loss was too much for even Harrison to ignore and his retirement announcement is likely to spark feelings of relief, as much as sadness, within the British boxing community.

"I believed if I was mentally and physically right, I could figure these young guns out. Saturday was my final chance to prove it," Harrison said. "The thing that pulled me up was pride, so I wanted a chance to continue and go out on my shield. It was not to be."

Read more on:    boxing
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