WBO, WBA and IBF and Ring world light-heavyweight champion Andre Ward has sensationally announced his retirement from boxing.
The two-weight world champion confirmed his decision via social media as he released a video captioned ‘MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.’
Ward’s video is a montage of his career from picking up the gloves as a young child, to his amateur days, which included winning gold at the Athens 2004 Games before ending with a monster shot over Sergey Kovalev.
An official statement on his website said: “To the sport of boxing – I love you. You’ve been by my side since I was 10-years old. You’ve taught me so much. You’ve humbled me. You’ve promoted me. I’ve sacrificed a lot for you, but you’ve given me more than I ever thought possible.”
Carrying on, it added: “As I walk away from the sport of boxing today, I leave at the top of your glorious mountain, which was always my vision and my dream. I did it. We did it.
— Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) September 21, 2017
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who has played a part in my journey. You know who you are. I could not have done this without you. I want to be clear – I am leaving because my body can no longer put up with the rigors of the sport and therefore my desire to fight is no longer there.
If I cannot give my family, my team, and the fans everything that I have, then I should no longer be fighting. Above all, I give God the Glory, for allowing me to do what I’ve done, for as long as I have,” Ward concluded online.
The 33-year-old walks away from the sport with a legacy that boasts a record of 32-0 (16 Kos) with victories over the likes of Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler and notably Kovalev twice recently. He also walks away having been the most recent star to be crowned as WBN pound for pound number one.
Despite speculation of a potential showdown with fellow ‘Creed’ actor Tony Bellew, the 33-year-old has hung his gloves up, retiring on top.
During his career, Ward won numerous accolades including ‘Fighter of the Year’ by World Boxing News, The Ring and Boxers Writers Association of America in 2011.
In recent months, the Virgil Hunter trained boxer has been working as a boxing pundit for Top Rank.
Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95