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Audley Harrison calls time on his boxing career

Updated: Wednesday, 01 May 2013 12:45 | Comments

Audley Harrison: "My dream to be a legitimate world champion will be unrealised."
Audley Harrison: "My dream to be a legitimate world champion will be unrealised."

Audley Harrison has announced his retirement from professional boxing on his official website.

Harrison became the first British fighter to win an Olympic gold medal in the super-heavyweight division when he was victorious at the 2000 Games in Sydney but he has flattered to deceive in the paid ranks.

While he challenged for a world title, two first-round knockout defeats - the latest of which came against Deontay Wilder over the weekend - in recent months have convinced the 41-year-old to end his career.

In a statement entitled "I'm Retiring", he said: "There are only so many times you can fall before it becomes foolhardy to continue. I've fallen a lot, but winning the 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."  

"There are only so many times you can fall before it becomes foolhardy to continue" - Audley Harrison

Harrison's professional career arguably peaked when he challenged compatriot David Haye for the WBA heavyweight title in November 2010 although he was criticised in all quarters after appearing to freeze on the grandest stage before being stopped in the third round.

A devastating first-round defeat against David Price in October last year appeared to signal the end of the road for Harrison but he bounced back to win his second Prizefighter competition.

However, another stunning knockout loss against Wilder on Saturday put the final nail in the much-maligned Harrison's career.

He added: "I believed if I was mentally and physically right, I could figure these young guns out. Saturday was my final chance to prove it.

"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."

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