Nigel Benn injures shoulder, announces retirement

TRUE to form, father time has maintained its unblemished record.

More than two decades on from his last professional fight, Nigel Benn has announced his retirement from professional boxing, effective immediately.

The 55-year-old was slated to face Australia’s former WBC super middleweight titleholder Sakio Bika on November 23 in Birmingham after being granted a licence to compete by the British & Irish Boxing Authority.

With both camps deep in preparation for a fight that was just less than a month away, Benn (42-5-1, 35 KOs) took to social media, flanked by his son Conor to make his emotional announcement.

“I have been dreaming of a one-off fight for years and I’m heartbroken I’ve had to call it off,” he explained.

“With a heavy heart I am sad to say I had to make the hard decision today to hang up my boxing gloves.

“I’d like to thank you all for supporting me throughout my career but the time is up for me. I thank you all for giving me an unbelievable career. God bless you all.”

Bika (34-7-3, 22 KOs) was a heavy favourite to halt the long-retired Benn, despite his pedigree as one of the greatest super middleweights of all time, alongside unbeaten Welshman Joe Calzaghe.

The 40-year-old Sydney resident faces an unfortunate series of late withdrawals, after a March date with Mayweather Promotions fighter Lionell Thompson in Maryland fell through.

Given his ties to Premier Boxing Champions, Bika is expected to fight at least once in 2019, with his team left to find a short-notice option before the New Year.

Photo: Provided