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Andre Ward v Sergey Kovalev 2

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With all of the pomp, flash, and trash talking that goes into the sport of boxing, it’s easy to overlook the brutal side effects boxers endure once the big show leaves the ring. Andre Ward has decided that he’s over dealing with them.

According to TMZ, the reigning light heavyweight champion of the world is retiring from the sport at 33 years old. In his announcement, he assured fans that he’s learned a lot from the sport of boxing, but his body can no longer keep up with “the rigors of the sport.”

He added that it’s time for him to focus on family first. “If I cannot give my family, my team, and the fans everything that I have, then I should no longer be fighting,” Ward wrote.

Ward hangs up his gloves as the undefeated champion, with an impressive 32-0 record. He’s one of many athletes in recent years who’ve walked away from the sport they love to preserve their bodies. The effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in football in particular, has led to memory loss and suicide.

We salute him. Read Ward’s full statement below.