Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell has announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 33.
The ever-playing British star ends his career with a record 20 professional wins and four defeats, also challenging for world titles twice – and falling marginally short.
Campbell’s best achievement was undoubtedly winning Olympic gold at the London Games in 2012, as he was part of a prolific team that also included Anthony Joshua and Natasha Jonas.
In what turned out to be his final appearance, Campbell put in an impressive performance against Ryan Garcia, causing the youngster’s first knockout of the career before being stopped by a brutal body shot.
Campbell announced his decision in a lengthy and emotional post, reflecting on his time in the sport and the next chapter that will follow.
Olympian Luke Campbell has announced his retirement from boxing at 33
Luke Campbell’s career in its entirety
2008: Campbell becomes England’s first European champion in 47 years
2011: Campbell wins silver at the world championships
2012: The Hull fighter wins gold at the London Olympics
2017: Campbell loses his first world title fight against Jorge Linares
2019: Campbell falls short against Vasyl Lomachenko
2021: He knocks down Ryan Garcia, but loses by a brutal body shot
“After much thought and consideration, I have decided that now is the right time to hang up my gloves and stop boxing,” Campbell wrote.
“From the moment I first stepped into the St. Paul’s Amateur Boxing Club in Hull, it was always my dream to win the Olympics.
“By winning gold in London 2012, in front of home help and my family, in many ways I had achieved my hopes and ambitions in the sport before my professional career even started.
“So while for many turning pro is where it all starts, for me it was more of a bonus and what a bonus it turned out to be, achieving more than I ever expected and giving me memories I will never forget.
“From my debut at Craven Park, to fighting at Wembley, beating domestic rivals, battling pound-for-pound stars in America and here in the UK, headlining pay-per-views and always ready to take on anyone record, it’s an incredible ride.’
Campbell has been boxing since the age of 13 and built a stunning amateur career before turning pro in 2013.
The Hull fighter became European champion in 2008 and silver at the world championships in 2011.
Campbell (left) put in a valiant performance in his most recent defeat to Ryan Garcia
Those achievements, while impressive, were dwarfed by winning gold at the London Games a year later, when he defeated Irishman John Joe Nevin to earn Team GB’s 28th gold medal at the Games.
After turning around in 2013, Campbell won his first 12 games with an ever-growing fan base following his success at the Olympics. But his journey to a title shot was briefly derailed when he lost via a surprising split decision to Yvan Mendy.
Campbell lost the first of his two world title fights in an electric fight against Jorge Linares
Campbell regained his momentum with five wins on spin that gave him the first of his two title fights, against Jorge Linares, where he lost again via split decision after an impressive rally from an early knockdown.
He then revealed that his father had died just days before the fight.
After another impressive rebuild, Campbell then faced the unenviable task of taking on Vasyl Lomachenko for his WBA, WBC and WBO lightweight titles. This time he fell by a unanimous decision after being knocked out in the 11th round – but again, his effort was brave.
Campbell’s outing in January was his last chance to advance to a new world title. After a stunning start, in which he knocked Garcia to the canvas, it was the American who triumphed.
Campbell lost via unanimous decision to WBA, WBC and WBO champion Vasyl Lomachenko
When announcing his decision to retire, Campbell said he had begun to reflect on the time he spent away from his family.
“However, the past year in boxing has been tough,” Campbell continued.
‘An extremely long training camp away from family meant I could only spend a few days with my newborn child and also resulted in Christmas being apart from them on the other side of the world.
‘In these moments you realize what is really important in life. I have lived my dreams and achieved more than I could have ever dreamed.
“Just as my father witnessed my greatest achievements, I want to be able to do the same for my children and make sure I’m always there to see their greatest triumphs.
“Boxing has been part of who I have been since I was 13 and I wouldn’t have reached half the heights I have without the incredible support of my wife Lyndsey, who was there every step of the way.
“I can’t wait to spend more time with you and our three beautiful boys. And now for the next chapter, I’m excited to get started.’