Japan’s three-weigh world champion, Hozumi Hasegawa announced his retirement on Friday just seventeen days shy of his 36th birthday.
The southpaw, who captured WBC belts from bantamweight to featherweight from 2005 onwards, has now relinquished the World Boxing Council super-bantamweight championship with immediate effect.
“I’ve decided to retire with the Sept. 16 bout being my last, when I conquered my third division,” Hasegawa said at an arranged press conference. “It was a boxing career that had more than I expected.
“I’ve always imagined hanging up my gloves as the world champion. It’s like with eating; you have to stop when you are not quite full.”
Head of Shinsei Gym, where Hasegawa trained, Masato Yamashita added: “I’m happy it didn’t end with him balling his eyes out, he can leave as the world champion. I’ve been telling him to decide however he likes. I’m half-sad, half-relieved.”
Hasegawa concluded: “I’ve got no reason to fight on. I made the decision thinking this might be the best time to do so. I can still get up physically but mentally it’s been getting difficult.
“I’m proud. I’ve had a career that couldn’t have been any better. Now, I’d like to find a new stage on which I can fight.”
The pound for pound rated star leaves the sport with a record of 36-5 and three wins on the spin, having recently defeated Hugo Ruiz to claim the third and final world title of his distinguished career.