Nine years after winning a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, Luke Campbell announced his retirement from boxing on Friday morning.
Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) retires with 20 victories and four losses during a career in which he challenged for world titles on two occasions at lightweight, falling short against recognised pound-for-pound stars, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jorge Linares.
The 33-year-old posted a statement on social media to announce his decision, which comes almost seven months after suffering a seventh round stoppage defeat to Ryan Garcia in Dallas, in a bid for the vacant WBC interim lightweight title.
“After a lot of thought and reflection, I have decided that now is the right time to hang-up my gloves and retire from boxing,” the Hull fighter said.
“As soon as I first stepped into St. Paul’s Amateur Boxing Club in Hull, my dream was always to win the Olympics.
“By winning gold at London 2012, in front of home support and my family, I had in many ways already achieved my hopes and aspirations in the sport before my professional career even started.
“So, while for many turning pro is where it all begins, for me it was more of a bonus.
“And what a bonus it turned out to be, achieving more than I ever expected and giving me memories I will never forget.
“From making my debut at Craven Park, to fighting at Wembley, beating domestic rivals, competing against pound-for-pound stars in America and here in the UK, headlining pay-per-views and always willing to take on anybody, it’s been an incredible ride.
It’s been a blast, thank you.
‘Retirement statement’ pic.twitter.com/uNi2Ab86QK
— Luke Campbell MBE (@luke11campbell) July 30, 2021
“Probably my proudest victory as a professional though has been winning the backing of the fans.
“Every fight, right the way from my debut on 13th June 2013, up to my last on 2nd January 2021, the cheers and messages of encouragement have always been monumental.
“Throughout my career I’ve tried to test myself against the very best in the industry and never shied away from anyone.
“I’m so grateful this hasn’t gone unnoticed from supporters and I appreciate you all. The past year in boxing though has been tough.
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“An extremely long training camp away from family meant I was only able to spend a few days with my newborn child and also resulted in me having Christmas apart from them on the other side of the world.
“It’s in these moments that you realise what is truly important in life. I’ve lived my dreams and accomplished more than I ever imagined I would.
“In the same way that my dad was able to witness my greatest achievements, I want to be able to do that for my children and make sure I’m always there to see their biggest triumphs.”
‘Cool Hand’ secured his first title against city rival, Tommy Coyle in 2015 to become WBC international champion, before losing it in a split decision loss to Yvan Mendy.
Campbell went on to land further domestic wins over Gary Sykes to claim the Commonwealth title, as well as Derry Matthews and featured twice at Wembley Stadium on the undercards of fellow 2012 gold medalist, Anthony Joshua where he stopped Darleys Pérez and avenged his defeat to Mendy.
“Boxing has been a part of who I am since the age of 13 and I would not have been able to reach half the heights I have without the incredible support of my wife Lyndsey, who has been with me every step and every punch of the way,” he added.
“I cannot wait to spend more time with you and our three beautiful boys. Thank you to my unsung hero my mum, the true power source and an endless support.
“Also thank you to Charlie and Karen, to Mike Bromby for looking after me in the early days, to everyone involved with the Great Britain team, especially Dave Alloway, Lee Pullen, Rob McCracken, Paul Walrmsley and Bob Dilon.
“Also, to Jorge Rubio and Stevie Smith, Salo Grosfeld and Robert Mazzucchelli in Miami, to Shane, Jake and Barry McGuigan, to Josh Pritchard, my physio Lisa Wiles, to Matchroom, Eddie Hearn and Frank Smith who’ve I’ve been with my whole career, Sky Sports and DAZN, to my agent Leisa Maloney, to my friends Steven Ramster, Kenny Marsden and Kane Campbell. And to the entire city of Hull. The list could go on.
“Lastly, thank you to my biggest fan, my dad.
“You always believed in me, telling me from day 1 that I would win the Olympics and then, later in your life, showing me exactly what a true fighter looks like. I miss you and will never stop trying to make you proud.
“And now for the next chapter, I’m excited to get started.”
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Matchroom chairman, Eddie Hearn paid tribute to Campbell who he promoted from his professional debut in a classy message on Instagram.
“Congratulations @luke11campbell on a fantastic career. I had the pleasure of promoting your whole career and you were part of some huge nights and you never ducked a challenge.
“You’ve got so much to still give to the sport and your community of which you have always represented proudly but for now it’s time to truly enjoy your family and your life my mate, see you soon.”
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Shane McGuigan, who coached ‘Cool Hand’ from 2018 after parting ways with Jorge Rubio also congratulated his fighter on social media.
“Happy Retirement @luke11campbell. I’m proud to have been a small part in your boxing journey! You will be able to use that knowledge & dedication you’ve gained from boxing in any walk of life.
“Well done mate #Coolhand.”