Heavyweight Audley Harrison retires from boxing

AFP| Last Updated: Mar 26, 2015, 19:06 PM IST
Heavyweight Audley Harrison retires from boxing

Former boxing golden boy Audley Harrison is to retire for the second time in his career due to problems associated with head injuries sustained in the ring.

The Englishman, who won Olympic gold at super-heavyweight in 2000 last fought in April, 2013 when he was knocked out in 70 seconds by Deontay Wilder.

He announced his retirement a few days after that defeat only to make a sharp U-turn soon after.

However, Harrison has not climbed back into the ring since then, despite hints on social media that he would resume his career.

"My boxing career has come to an end," said the 43-year-old in a statement on his official website. "I am no longer a professional boxer."

Harrison admitted that his decision had been prompted by research into head injuries he suffered as a result of the punishing blows he took during his 38-bout professional career.

He added: "I looked at the latest research into concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). After years of denial and sticking to my guns, I`m finally getting out of my own way. As tough as it is to say this... it`s time to stop.

"I`ve suffered a few TBIs and will have to work hard to reverse some of the effects taking punches to the head has brought about to my overall health.

"I have vision problems, vestibular injuries that leads to balance disturbances, and have bouts of serious irritability and moodiness that comes with TBI recovery."

Harrison failed to live up to all the hype that followed his golden triumph in Sydney - although he won the European heavyweight title and fought fellow Londoner David Haye for a world title in 2010, when he was stopped inside three rounds.

Harrison, who was most recently on the latest version of Celebrity Big Brother, retires with a record of 31 wins and seven defeats.