Worried about his long-term health and saying he no longer desired to fight, former middleweight champion boxer Kelly Pavlik announced his retirement on Saturday.
"When you stay in the sport too long you have health problems. That's a big, big thing for me," Pavlik told ESPN. "I'm not talking about now. I'm talking about in the future. I'm talking about when I'm 55 or 60. What's gonna happen to me then? Why take any more chances, especially in that sport. It's a brutal sport and you never know what can happen."
Pavlik knocked out Jermain Taylor to win the middleweight title in 2007. But the desire to continue, despite winning all three of his fights in 2012, was no longer there, he said.
"I won the world title, I defended my title, I was champ for three years and I made good money," Pavlik said. "Why take the chance of medical problems? That's a big part of it. I'm moving on to a new chapter in my life."
The 31-year-old Pavlik retires with a record of 40-2 with 34 KOs. He defended his title three times before losing a bloody decision to in 2010 to Sergio Martinez.
He became a celebrity in his home state of Ohio, but also battled alcohol problems and spent time in rehab twice.
"I had a pretty good career," Pavlik told ESPN. "I was 40-2 and I only lost to two of the best guys, Martinez and (Bernard) Hopkins. I'm content.
"It's not like I got knocked out. It's not like I got knocked out the way Manny Pacquiao got knocked out (in December by Juan Manuel Marquez).