Scottish bantamweight superstar Kash Farooq has announced his shock retirement from professional boxing at just 26 years of age due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.
The Pakistan-born boxer burst onto the scene when he made his debut in 2015, and he became British champion in 2018. Farooq successfully defended his title on three occasions before losing on a split decision to compatriot Lee McGregor in 2019.
He retires with a 16-1 record, with his sole loss coming in the British title bout.
The duo were preparing for a highly anticipated rematch later this year, with McGregor taking to social media to show his support.
“We both helped each other so much from sparring as amateurs to being involved in one of the best fights Scotland has ever seen between two Scottish fighters,” the ‘devastated’ McGregor wrote on Instagram.
“We were on the verge of changing our lives forever ahead of what was a hugely anticipated rematch and it’s heartbreaking that we won’t get that special night we were all looking forward to.”
McGregor’s touching message concluded with, “It was an honour to share the ring with you champ, I wish you nothing but the best.”
After suffering defeat to McGregor, his impressive performance in the bout caught the attention of Eddie Hearn, promoter of former world champion Anthony Joshua. Farooq switched to Matchroom Boxing and won each of his three bouts with the promotion.
He claimed two WBC international titles and the WBA continental championship as the 26-year-old began to establish himself as one of Britain’s rising stars.
The St Andrew’s Sporting Club took to Twitter to confirm Farooq’s retirement while announcing he will assume the head of talent role within the management and promotion company.
“We are truly honoured to have been given the privilege to guide the bantamweight through his career, from professional debut in October 2015 to his final fight last August,” the body’s statement read.
“As a young teenager entering the boxing gym, the heights he has reached likely seemed unimaginable, though his incredible journey from dinner shows to ‘Eddie’s back garden’, his story is the epitome of what is truly possible in this game with hard work and dedication.”
Matchroom Boxing also led tributes, insisting Farooq – ‘a brilliant fighter and top man’ – was destined for world honours.
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