Home Boxing Twitter Was Awash With Tributes After Andy Lee Announced His Retirement On Monday

Twitter Was Awash With Tributes After Andy Lee Announced His Retirement On Monday

New York , United States - 18 March 2017; Andy Lee ahead of his bout against KeAndrae Leatherwood at Madison Square Garden in New York, USA. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Twitter has been awash with tributes for Andy Lee after the popular boxer announced his retirement on Monday.

Athens Olympian and former WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee officially called time on his professional boxing career on Monday, telling Off the Ball’s Joe Molloy, “[Boxing] has defined my life, it has defined who I am but it’s the right time to call it a day.”

Lee hadn’t fought since March of 2017 when he scored a unanimous decision win over KeAndrae Leatherwood at Madison Square Garden in New York, but he had kept himself available in case one last big opportunity arose.

That didn’t happen, however, and Lee, whose wife recently gave birth to their first child, wasn’t willing to leave his family for lengthy spells for just any bout.

“None of the fights and none of the offers were good enough or big enough to get me to go back and I have responsibilities now as a father – to leave my wife and my daughter, it would take a big fight to get me to do that, to leave them, to go away training and to put myself through all that,” he said.

“If I was single with no child – I probably would have been back in the gym straight away after the fight with Billy Joe Saunders but I took a decision to take some time off and then we had the baby so that’s been the best thing and that’s really my priority right now.”

Lee retires with a stellar professional record of 35-3-1 with 24 KOs.

Already a pro for over eight years, Lee captured his first major title in December of 2014, coming from behind to finish Matvey Korobov in the sixth round at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas and become WBO middleweight champ. Four months later in Brooklyn, Lee was dropped twice in the opening three rounds by former WBO titlist Peter Quillin, who had failed to make the middleweight limit a day prior, but fought back to score a knockdown of his own in the seventh and rescue a draw. Lee lost his strap that December, however, as he dropped a split decision to Billy Joe Saunders in Manchester.

Lee was one of the most universally beloved fighters in the game, known for his heart inside the ring and his class outside it. Thus, Twitter was awash with glowing tributes for the Limerick southpaw in the hours following his announcement. The vast majority shared one major observation phrased in slightly varied ways – Lee was a good fighter but he’s an even better human being.

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