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Former middleweight and super-middleweight world champion Nigel Benn has been forced to cancel his comeback bout through injury.
Benn, who hasn’t competed since 1996, was set to fight this month but a shoulder injury has forced the 55-year-old to pull out and also call time on his boxing career once and for all.
“With a heavy heart I am sad to say I had to make the hard decision today to hang up my boxing gloves,” Benn wrote in an Instagram post. He was set to fight Cameroonian-Australian Sakio Bika on November 23rd.
Benn will now “pass the baton” to his son Conor, a 23-year-old welterweight who is undefeated in his 16 fights so far.
“I had to call it quits today,” continued Benn, who recently likened himself to Benjamin Button. “I wanted a hard spar, but it just wasn't happening. My shoulder started playing up and I could not throw a right hand at all.”
The British and Irish Boxing Authority (Biba) sanctioned the Benn-Bika, which was set to take place in Birmingham.
“My heart goes out to Nigel,” vice-president Gianluca di Caro told BBC Sport, who went on to “applaud Benn’s good sense” but must focus on saving the evening by finding a new headline fight.
The title bout is hoped to go to former IBF welterweight world champion Joshua Clottey who will face WBF European and international champion Tommy Jacobs.
“I'd like to thank you all for supporting me throughout my career but the time is up for me,” Benn said in his emotional Instagram video. “I thank you all for giving me an unbelievable career.”
The ex-world champion amassed an 87.5% win rate across his career – winning 42 of his 48 fights.
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