GEORGE GROVES will retire from boxing. The popular Londoner has been one of Britain’s most successful boxers in recent years.

He defeated James DeGale in a British title fight as long ago as 2011. His rivalry with Carl Froch saw him sell out Wembley stadium. That was a famous defeat and Groves fell short in a third world title fight when Badou Jack beat him on a split decision in Las Vegas.

But he finally won the WBA super-middleweight crown when he beat Fedor Chudinov in 2017. He handled another British rival in Chris Eubank Jnr to reach the final of the World Boxing Super Series, despite dislocating his left shoulder. He lost the WBSS final, and his title, when he boxed Callum Smith in Jeddah last September and has decided now to hang up his gloves.

He is only 30 years old.

“I have decided that it is time for me to retire as a professional fighter,” Groves said in a statement. “After four attempts I had finally fulfilled my childhood dream and the experience was as great as I had always imagined it would be. It was without doubt the best moment of my career.

George Groves

“Some of you might think it odd that I’m choosing this time to retire. I’m still young, still fit and healthy and there are still some big fights out there for me. But it’s for these reasons that I am choosing to retire now. I have a young family at home; it’s time to spend some of my better days with them. I don’t want there to be a time where I’m ‘too old’ to box on or where an injury retires me in or out of the ring. Over the years I have seen and sadly known the dangers of the sport, and I want to respectfully bow out while I’m at the top of my game. I’ve learned that doesn’t always mean coming off the back of a win. I’ve boxed at the highest level, all over the world, I’ve been a champion and I’ll be leaving the sport (relatively!) intact.

“Boxing has been good to me and I believe I have been good for boxing. I hope I have entertained you all; I have always strived to be the best fighter I can be. Although we step through the ropes on our own of course every fighter is backed by a team, and not just the ones in the corner. There are many, many people that have helped me on the way to fulfilling my boxing dreams and I would to take this opportunity to thank as many people as I can.”