Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell has announced his retirement from boxing, aged 33.
The always-game British star finishes his career with a record of 20 professional wins and four defeats, having also challenged – and fallen marginally short – for world titles on two occasions.
In what turned out to be his final outing, Campbell put in an impressive performance against Ryan Garcia, inflicting the first knockdown of the youngster’s career, before being stopped by a brutal body shot.
Campbell announced his decision in a lengthy and emotional post, reflecting on his time within the sport and the next chapter that will follow.
Olympian Luke Campbell has announced his retirement from boxing, aged 33-years-old
‘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,’ Campbell wrote.
‘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.’
Campbell (left) put in a brave performance in his most recent defeat to Ryan Garcia
Campbell has been boxing since the age of 13 and established a stunning amateur career before turning professional in 2013.
The Hull fighter became European champion in 2008 and in 2011 took a silver at the world championships.
Those feats, albeit impressive, were dwarfed as he took gold at the London Games a year later, however, as he beat Irishman John Joe Nevin to earn Team GB’s 28th gold medal of the Games.
After turning over in 2013, Campbell won his opening 12 bouts with an ever-growing fan base following his Olympics success. But his journey towards a title shot was momentarily derailed as he lost via a surprise split decision to Yvan Mendy.
Campbell lost the first of his two world title fights in an electric fight against Jorge Linares
Campbell regained his momentum with five victories on the spin, that earned his the first of his two title fights, against Jorge Linares, where again he lost by split decision after rallying impressively from an early knockdown.
He subsequently revealed that his dad had passed away just days prior to the fight.
After another impressive rebuild job, Campbell was then faced with the unenviable job of taking on Vasyl Lomachenko for his WBA, WBC and WBO lightweight titles. This time, he fell to a unanimous decision defeat after being knocked down in the 11th round – but again, his effort was valiant.
Campbell’s January outing was his final chance to progress towards another world title shot. After a stunning start, in which he knocked the youngster to the canvas, it was the American who prevailed.
Campbell lost via unanimous decision to WBA, WBC and WBO champion Vasyl Lomachenko
In announcing his decision to retire, Campbell said he had started to reflect on the time spent away form his family.
‘The past year in boxing though has been tough,’ Campbell’s statement continued.
‘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.
‘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.
‘I cannot wait to spend more time with you and our three beautiful boys. And now for the next chapter, I’m excited to get started.’