World light heavyweight champion Andre Ward has announced his retirement from boxing.

The 33-year-old announced the surprise decision with the following statement.

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. You gave me a platform, made me a champion and helped me provide for my family. I am forever grateful to you. You and I will always be synonymous, connected at the hip. Thank you for all the wonderful people I’ve come in contact with because of you. I’ve made friends for life. 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.

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.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images Sport

Ward was a dominant force in the super-middleweight division, beating the likes Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch to win the Super Six tournament.

The American then stepped up to light-heavyweight where he took three world titles from Sergey Kovalev.

Ward ends his boxing career with an undefeated 32 fight record with 16 knockouts.

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