Last month, at the O2 Arena in London, around the half way point in my fight with Brian Rose, I knew it was time to retire. My face was marking up, I was getting frustrated at not being able to land my shots and I knew that physically, after a long career my body was telling me that enough was enough. I also knew that I didn’t want to go out like that so with the help of my brother Seamus I decided to end my career on my terms and pulled the win out of the bag in the last few rounds. Deep down I came to the realisation on the night that it was probably going to be my last fight. I turn 34 in two days time and, after much reflection I have decided that following 24 years in the sport, over 80 amateur fights and 41 professional fights, it is time to hang up my gloves.
15 years is a long time in professional boxing and, for me, it has been a real rollercoaster journey! I’ve had a great career but I know that now is the right time to bow out. I’m not the fighter I once was; Father Time catches up with us all eventually. I never wanted to do things the easy way or to be a big fish in a small pond. I wanted to know how good I was and test myself against the very best the sport had to offer and I can proudly say I did that. I fought Felix Sturm, Sergio Martinez and the best of them all Gennady Golovkin. Most importantly, I fought them all in their primes.