CHRIS Male says he quit boxing because he can no longer give the sport total commitment.
The 30-year-old featherweight announced his retirement last week, pulling out of a clash with Mansfield-based Latvian Pavel Senkovs which was scheduled for Wolverhampton on March 9.
It would have been Male’s first outing since losing an English title clash with Josh Warrington last November, his only professional defeat.
Male had hinted at retirement in the immediate aftermath of the fight, before later deciding to continue.
But the punching postman is now convinced the time is right to hang up the gloves.
He said: “I was struggling to find the motivation for the Senkovs fight. I beat him four years ago and to me it was a backward step.
"I have always respected the sport and I have always been 100 per cent dedicated. When you start to lose that it is time to go.
“I think as a boxer you are the first to realise it but often the last to accept it.
“Physically I’m fine. I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been in but boxing has to mean everything to you and at my age, with my job and the disappointments I’ve had in the last couple of years in the ring, I can’t say it is.”
Male admitted he is leaving the sport with regrets, after suffering no end of bad luck over the last two-and-a-half years. In retrospect the highlight of his career, a British Masters win over Liam Richards, was also the beginning of the end.
Male broke his hand midway through the contest and that scuppered an English title clash with Del Rogers.
Further English title shots against Olympian Joe Murray twice fell through, first due to the entire bill being cancelled and then through injury, while another arranged showdown with Jon Fernandes fell through because of poor ticket sales.
It meant the Dudley man had been out of the ring for almost 18 months and went into the eventual fight with Warrington seriously under-cooked.
He said: “In a sporting career it’s all about having that little bit of luck at the right moment.
“If the Del Rogers fight had come off I’m convinced I would have been English champion.
“Watching the way Murray was fighting at the time I think I would have beaten him too.”
He added: “People watch the big names in the sport, guys like Floyd Mayweather but it’s not like that for most professionals. Mayweather gets up, goes to the gym twice a day and the rest of his time is free. It’s a wonderful life.
“I get up at 4am, go running, train, then do an eight-hour post round before training again, going home, eating dinner and going to bed.
“I’m 31 this year and financially I know boxing is not going to set me up.
“When you take everything into account I know deep down I’ve made the right decision.”