'After seeing the AJ and Ruiz fight I realised that it's no longer for me' - Sam Sexton calls it a day
PUBLISHED: 14:37 08 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:30 08 December 2019
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Norwich boxer Sam Sexton has announced his retirement.
The 35-year-old hasn't fought since losing his British heavyweight title to Hughie Fury in Bolton in May, 2018.
Sexton made his debut in September 2005, defeating Paul Bonson on a big fight night at Carrow Road. He finishes with a record of 24 wins and four defeats. He won the Commonwealth title in 2009, beating Martin Rogan in Belfast - and six months later defended it against the same man at the same place.
His greatest achievement came in October, 2017 when, at the third attempt, he won the British title, beating Scotsman Gary Cornish in Edinburgh.
In a social media posting on Sunday, Sexton wrote that he had first walked into a boxing gym more than 20 years ago "a tubby teenage hoodlum who loved a scrap".
"To this day I thank my lucky stars that I did," he added. "Boxing has taken me on a lot of journeys and presented me with many challenges. It's pulled me back from depression and a life of crime that I would have surely followed as many of the people around me did.
"It's kept my life on the right track when I could have easily gone off the rails like some did and some we've lost. It has also provided me and my family with a better life.
"It was always my dream to hold that Lonsdale belt one day and write my name in history with some of boxing's legends. I was fortunate enough to keep two promises to two very important people in my life; the first my grandfather who was taken ill just before I boxed for the Commonwealth title in Belfast. I told him I would win it for him and I did - originally from the East End I suppose boxing was always in his blood and mine.
"Most important was for my amazing mum. I promised her I'd win the British title and I did - that meant more to me than anything. People always ask me if I'm going to box again and I can never give them an answer because I honestly could never make the decision. How can you turn your back on 24 years of your life?
"After seeing the AJ and Ruiz fight last night I realised that it's no longer for me so I'd like to inform everybody that I am OFFICIALLY retiring from competing. There are so many people to thank over the years and you all know who you are from trainers, sparring partners, sponsors, promoters, TV, radio, papers etc, but I'd especially like to give a special mention to my lifelong coach Graham Everett and also my family and close friends who always believed in me and supported me through good times and bad. I would never of made it without you all.
"Now for the next chapter in life. Cheers."