Following his loss on December 3 to Delvin Rodriguez at Madison Square Garden, popular Polish brawler Pawel Wolak has announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 30.
I am at peace with my decision to retire from boxing. I left it all in the ring and I have absolutely no regrets. I got to do what most people will never be able to and I couldn't be more proud to have been part of the best sport in the world. I will stay active, busy and in boxing shape as I have done since 17 years old but I hope to help other fighters in the NY area in their careers. The list of people to thank is too long but you all know you are. Thank you to my core team, my family, my friends and the fans who have made me a better husband, man, father, son and fighter. I am forever grateful. Thank you to Top Rank for always having my back and to the boxing media who have always been fair and treated me with respect.
Wolak retires with a record of 29-2-1 (19 KO), and while it may be surprising to see him leave the sport at his age, I don't think it's shocking.
This is a guy who has always been extremely honest about himself, about his performances, and about his goals. He wanted to be a world champion -- that's why he looked for a fight with Cornelius Bundrage or another titlist before taking the rematch with Rodriguez. If he doesn't feel like that's in the cards, then continuing on probably seems a bit fruitless.
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After all, this isn't a guy who fights in a style that leads to great long-term health, and he knows that very well. Like Peter Manfredo Jr last month, Wolak may see himself simply at a point where it's no longer worth the dedication required.
He made a brief statement on Twitter to that effect, saying "the mind needs to know when it's time," but this is what he said following the loss to Rodriguez, in his usual class manner:
I don't think anyone who has seen Pawel fight wishes him anything but the best.
Thank you for the fights, Pawel. I wish boxing had more like you.