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Tributes Pour In For James DeGale As He Confirms Retirement

James DeGale has announced his retirement
James DeGale has announced his retirement

Boxing fans and celebrities have been queueing up to pay tribute to James DeGale who has announced his retirment.

The first British boxer to win an Olympic gold medal then a professional world title, lost on a unanimous points decision to Chris Eubank Jr last Saturday.

Now the 33-year-old has called time on his career. In a statement he said: "It's been an unbelievable journey," said DeGale, who won 25 and lost three of his 29 fights as a professional.

"It's hard to admit that I'm not the fighter I once was. I'm human and, along the way, my injuries have taken a toll - both on mind and body."

George Groves tweeted in response to the decision: "I’ve given him a lot of stick the past week after his loss at the weekend but upon his decision to retire today I want to wish @jamesdegale1 well in the next chapter of his life. You’ve made the right decision. It’s a tough sport and you reached the highest level. Congratulations."

Badou Jack was also quick to add his best wishes: "We had a great fight together @jamesdegale1. At the end of the day you’re a 2 time world champ and Olympic gold medalist, you should be very proud. Enjoy your retirement and God bless/"

"What a fantastic career this man has had," said Frank Bruno. "Massive respect @jamesdegale1 wishing you all the best in retirement. A true champ."

DeGale famously defeated Andre Dirrell on points to take the vacant IBF super-middleweight belt in May 2015. He lost his title in 2017 though won it back in an April 2018 rematch with American Caleb Truax. 

"Today marks 10 years since my professional debut fight on 28 February 2009," said DeGale. "It's been an unbelievable journey and I've had an amazing decade - if I'm honest, the best years of my life - and, having started boxing at the age of nine then being selected as part of the England amateurs squad, I've collected many memories along the way."

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