British super-middleweight George Hillyard revealed some sad news late on Monday evening as the Londoner announced his retirement from boxing.
The 33 year-old former Prizefighter contestant, who fought the likes of Lee Noble and Prince Arron, informed his social media followers of a mild stroke which means Hillyard hangs up his gloves with immediate effect.
“The End of a Dream,” Hillyard wrote.
“Since I was a young boy and first stepped into the doors at Lion’s Amateur Boxing Club, I’ve dreamed of winning titles at boxing.
“As many of you know my boxing career has been less than smooth and I’ll be the first to admit that I did not reach my full potential.
“Despite this, I recently got back into training hard for my next fight. Supported by Ross (Minter) and the guys at Queensbury Boxing.
“I was looking forward to one last swansong and I still believed I had a lot to offer the sport. It has taken me longer than it should have to get the right people around me.
“For all the people that have stood by me through thick and thin, I offer my thanks.
“Since just before Christmas I had problems with my eye and thought that I had got dust in it from work. I was also suffering from the odd headache, but nothing that I couldn’t cope with.
“I finally decided to get my eye checked out and I’m gutted to say that at the age of 33, it turns out that I have suffered a mild stroke.
“I want everyone to know that this is not related to boxing, but it does mean that I’ll never be able to box again.
“For everyone that has supported me through my journey, bought tickets, trained me, trained with me, sparred and shared the ring in a competitive manner, sponsored, promoted me or offered me guidance and even to all the haters. I want to say thank you to you all. You have each inspired me in different ways.
“I’ll continue to be involved in boxing but not as a boxer,” he added.
Ps: the hardest thing I’ve had to do, but family first. Once again thank you all x
Since suffering his sixth and final defeat against Kiril Psonko in 2014, Hillyard won all three of his contests against journeyman opposition but is now unable to build on those trio of victories due to his health situation.
WBN would like to offer our best wishes to George in whatever he decides to do next.