I know there aren't a ton of boxing fans on here. This guy has been my favorite fighter since he came out of the Olympics years ago. I wanted to see another Lennox/Vitali fight, but Lennox is 38 and has proven enough to do whatever he thinks is right. He retires as only the 3rd Heavyweight champion to retire w/ the Championship belt. I would prefer this over him staying on too long like Holyfield.
"It's a special day in my life - I'd like to announce that June 21, 2003 was my last fight as a professional boxer" - Lennox Lewis
Lennox Lewis quits boxing
1.58PM, 6 Feb 2004
World heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis has decided to bring the curtain down on his glorious 44-fight boxing career in London.
And, as a result, the 38-year-old, who has got engaged to long-term girlfriend Violet Chung, has become only the third title holder in the division's history to walk away with his belt intact.
Lewis, who is to become a director of the Sport Entertainment and Media Group (SEM) and "help other athletes", said: "It's a special day in my life - I'd like to announce that June 21, 2003 was my last fight as a professional boxer.
"When I first started there was no straight road to my becoming the heavyweight champion of the world.
"I learnt on this trip that if you lose that doesn't mean that's the end of your boxing career.
"When I first lost and people said that was the end for me, they actually had me believing it for a long time.
"But because of the way I lost I thought 'get up and brush myself off and get at them'. He may have beaten me today but this is one of the learning curves you have to go through in your life.
"You have to lose to become a great boxer - those who haven't lost haven't really learned anything.
"True champions like Muhammad Ali lost three times and came back to become the greatest boxer ever."
Lewis has turned his back on a big-money rematch with Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko, whom he beat controversially in his last fight in Los Angeles last June.
And the Briton has taken the advice of his mother Violet to join the illustrious company of Rocky Marciano and Gene Tunney as men who retired while on top.
The World Boxing Council had given Lewis 30 days in which to announce his future intentions on February 1 or face being stripped of his title.
But now that he has chosen not to re-enter the ring again, the WBC belt is set to be contested between Klitschko and South African veteran Corrie Sanders.
And Lewis has insisted that there he will not have a change of heart in the future as far as his retirement is concerned.
He added: "I will definitely be the third heavyweight boxer to retire (as champion) - I can promise you that. I am proud of being heavyweight champion.
"It's not easy being heavyweight champion of the world. It's very hard to achieve. It's even harder to keep, to stay at the top.
"I am a person who believes if you can't give 110 per cent you shouldn't do it. I've given a 110 per cent in my sport.
"I respect boxing a great deal. It has done so much for me. One of the reasons I am retiring is that I respect the sport so much.
"It is time for the younger generation of boxers to make their own route to become heavyweight champion. The challenge is there for them to achieve what I have achieved over the last 12 years."
Lewis, who paid tribute to his mother, also hailed his chief trainer Emmanuel Steward, calling him "the best trainer of this era".
Lewis' departure will leave a gaping hole in the heavyweight division of the sport which has struggled even under the rule of such a flagship champion.
Soon there will be four different champions again and most commentators agree that not one of them boasts the credentials to take control and justify the so-called 'richest prize in sport'.
Chris Byrd holds the IBF crown but his next defence has stalled while Roy Jones is showing little inclination to defend his WBA title and the WBO title is currently vacant.