YORK boxer Harry Matthews has announced his retirement as a fighter following an 11-year professional career.

Matthews competed in 66 bouts during the course of his time in the sport, finishing with a record of 16 wins, 47 defeats and three draws.

The 31-year-old mainly served as a journeyman during the course of his time in the sport, meaning that he would often travel to fight young prospects, occasionally on short-notice.

He did however, twice compete for domestic belts, losing on points to Nick Blackwell in 2010 for the English title and being edged to 96-94 decision by Christian Kinsiona for the Central Area title in 2018.

And, in arguably his most high-profile fight, Matthews went the distance with future world champion Chris Eubank Jr back in 2012.

The decision for Matthews to walk away from the sport comes a result of the various other ventures in his life meaning he could no longer commit to his training as previously.

Matthews was balancing his work as a self-employed personal trainer, his fledgling career in acting and writing and training young upcoming amateur boxers as well as boxing.

“I was at a point where I was finding it hard to find time to get to be a professional boxer as well as being in those other roles,” explained Matthews.

“In my training camps, I didn’t feel as snappy as I once was. I’m also training a lot of my own boxers and a lot of my best time in the gym was being given to those boxers.

“When it came to doing my own training, I wasn’t quite as sharp in my own mind.

“To try and do both roles, of being both a fighter and a coach, it was getting to be quite hard work and I needed to choose either one or the other.”

Of Matthews’ 47 defeats, only six came via stoppage from his opponent. Two of those came in his final two bouts, against Germaine Brown and Mike McGoldrick, neither of whom had shown themselves to be heavy-hitter in previous contests.

“I just didn’t have the gas in the tank,” Matthews reflected on the McGoldrick fight. “I wasn’t necessarily hurt, I just didn’t have any gas left in the tank and my mind just said, enough is enough.

“I got stopped by Brown. In that fight, he only put me down with a flash knockdown.

“But, I’d boxed Kody Davies (a former Team GB amateur) the week before and we’d had a war, a hard fight over six rounds.

“I probably should have had a little bit of time off after that, but I didn’t. As a journeyman, you make yourself available to fight.

“Then I fought McGoldrick and, looking back, I didn’t think that he was brilliant. But he caught me on my eye and it caused quite a bad cut.

“I took a knee but I thought, ‘If I continue with this my eye it’s going to damage my vision’.

“So, I made the decision to pull out of the fight.

“For me, I probably needed a bad night like that for me to end up calling it a day. Sometimes, you’ve got to think about your own health.

“I know that there will always be a part of me that wants to box again, but I know that I can’t commit to it, like I once did.

“I’ve been a professional now for 11 years, I’ve had 66 fights and I’ve had some good nights in the ring.

“I’m doing alright with my acting and writing. I’m doing well with my PT clients and the coaching, so, I’ve got plenty going on still.”