Ogogo announces his retirement from boxing: I choose to be better, not bitter

Ogogo: Accepting the end gracefully Credit: PA

Suffolk boxer Anthony Ogogo has announced his retirement from boxing after failing to overcome serious eye injuries.

The Lowestoft middleweight has undergone seven eye operations in two years, and says he's been forced to accept the end of his professional boxing career.

Ogogo, 30, made the announcement on social media. In his statement he said:

Accepting the end gracefully is part of being a professional athlete. Calling an end to dreams that are left unfulfilled is the hardest part. Life is all about doing your best with the cards you’ve been dealt; that is what I have done time after time.Sadly, after 7 operations on my eyes in 2 and a half years, I am forced to admit that they are too damaged for me to safely return to the boxing ring. With a heavy heart, I have to retire from professional boxing with my dreams unfulfilled.

Anthony Ogogo

He signed a five year deal with leading boxing promoters, Golden Boy Promotions, back in 2013.

During his 12 fight pro career he won 11 bouts, losing his last fight against Craig Cunningham for the WBC International Middleweight Title back in 2016.

Just last month he posted an update on Twitter, suggesting he was still hopeful that he could return to the ring.

This retirement statement, and my life, could now go one of two ways from here on out. I could be bitter or I could be better. I could be bitter at having my career cut down whilst I’m in the prime of my life. A devastating succession of injuries prevented my professional career from taking off and now I’ll never get the chance to realise my true potential and show the world what I truly had in the locker. Plagued with thoughts of what I could have been are enough to make a man bitter.

Anthony Ogogo

Hi statement listed his injuries, saying that he'd been been injured for a combined period of 6 years and 4 months: "as a result of: 3 shoulder dislocations, shattered eye sockets, broken bones, and damaged ligaments and tendons. "

But he has vowed to remain positive.

Ogogo with his bronze Credit: PA Images

The star admitted that having lived his life by the mantra of 'never give up' he was struggling with the fact he was having to retire. But he thanks his wife for her support.

For 16 years Casey has dealt with the making weight, the training, the sweaty clothes, but most testing of all, the injuries and my bad moods. She’s always been there, supported and believed in me when others didn’t. Thank you for taking me to the toilet when I couldn’t walk and helping me cross the road when I couldn’t see. I’m sorry for making you my emotional punch bag for so many years. Thank you for never giving up on me and for being a strong, independent and impressive lady in your own right. I am forever in your debt and if we lived a thousand lifetimes, I still wouldn’t be able to show you what you mean to me.

Anthony Ogogo

He finished by saying: "I didn’t achieve my goal in a boxing ring. But I’m still going to hold my head high ... I wanted to prove that the old stereotype that boxers are thuggish and unintelligent is just that, a dated stereotype."

Forgetting the negatives I’m focusing on the positives. I’m walking away from this sport a healthy man. My eyes are damaged and I cannot box, but walking away now will mean that I will one day be able to read to my children. I was lucky to escape that last fight with just a fractured eye socket and damage to the eye. I quite easily could have suffered much more severe injuries. I was being hit with punches that I didn’t see coming. Any one of those punches could have put me in a coma, damaged my brain or even killed me. It’s the punches you don’t see coming in boxing that cause serious damage.

Anthony Ogogo

Read the statement in full