Former WBA world super-middleweight champion George Groves has announced his retirement from boxing.
Groves last fought in September, losing his title to fellow Brit Callum Smith in the final of the World Boxing Super Series
Groves stated that after the fight he “knew the desire to fight had left” him.
He said: “I don’t want there to be a time where I’m ‘too old’ to box, or where injury retires me.”
In a statement, Groves offered “a prayer” for Eduard Gutknecht, who suffered a brain aneurysm after their fight in 2016, leaving him unable to walk or talk.
“This fight brought home the realisation that boxing can have brutal consequences,” Groves added. “After this, I truly felt like my fighting days were numbered. After winning the WBA world title I decided to only continue fighting while it felt necessary.”
Groves won the world title in his stoppage win over Fedor Chudinov in May of 2017, putting an end to him being labelled boxing’s ‘Nearly man’ having lost twice to Carl Froch and Badou Jack in 2015.
“After four attempts I finally fulfilled my childhood dream, and the experience was as great as I had always imagined it would be,” Groves added. “It was without doubt the best moment of my career.
“Boxing has been good to me and I believe I have been good for boxing. I hope I have entertained you all; I have always strived to be the best fighter I can be.”
In a career that has spanned 11-years and 32 professional contests, Groves holds wins over the likes of James DeGale, Paul Smith, Martin Murray and notably Chris Eubank Jr.
“In my darkest and hardest times, it has been other people’s energy and enthusiasm that has kept me focused and determined to achieve my dreams,” added Groves.
“Over the years I have seen and sadly known the dangers of the sport, and I want to respectfully bow out while I’m at the top of my game.
“I’ve learned that doesn’t always mean coming off the back of a win. I’ve boxed at the highest level, all over the world, I’ve been a champion, and I’ll be leaving the sport (relatively!) intact.”