Sunderland’s Olympic bronze medalist Tony Jeffries has been forced to call time on his professional boxing career after just ten fights due to a long-term hand injury.
Jeffries was an extremely talented amateur boxer, who took his skills all the way to the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he came back with a bronze medal.
He turned professional, making his debut in February 2009, but sadly a hand injury meant he hasn’t boxed since September 2011 and he will never get the chance to fulfill his potential. He does, however, retire with an unbeaten record after winning 9 (an impressive 6 by KO) and drawing 1.
Jeffries sent out the following this morning on his official Facebook Fan Page.
“This is the hardest Status I’ve ever had to write
Today my boxing career is officially over.
After injuries to both hands, I’ve had to accept I will not fight again.
I’ve had problems with my hands for years, but after winning my last fight this time last year the pain got too much, and I had to get them assessed followed by an MRI scan.
I did everything I possibly could to get do to be able to punch again.
Then I had therapy for a few months and it was still no better but actually worse than before the surgery.I had my hands checked by a top hand doctor in the USA called Dr Sultski, who basically said there’s nothing more to do. He said I could try surgery again then months of therapy but if it didn’t work the first time it’s very likely it won’t work again.
A couple of months ago I had a procedure called BM PRP, where they took bone marrow out of my hip, then divided out the plasma and platelets from red and white cells and with HGH injected it back into my knuckles. Done by a top Dr in Beverly Hills Dr Sampson.
Since then I’ve been taking lot’s of supplements, medication along with more therapy.
The surgery helped the pain and movement whats great for everyday life but not enough to be able to punch again. I tried last week for the first time in ten months, but before I even did it I knew it was going to hurt because just making a fist still hurts. I was right.
It seems I’ve been lying to myself for so long hoping it would get right.
I suppose I just didn’t want to come to the reality of not been able to fight again. Now I’m absolutely gutted to say I have no other option.
I’ve had the best support i could wish for from my Mam, wife Sarah, sisters Sarah and Lucy and my trainers, Tommy Brookes, Joe Dunbar and Sean Casey.
Their support has meant the world to me.
I get asked loads of times every day “How’s your hands doing?” and it’s great so many people care and want to see me in the ring again but it’s not great having nothing good to say back. So I’m sad to say at the age of 27 I will be retiring from the ring.
If when I started boxing aged 10 someone asked if I would settle for half of what I have done I would have said YES.
I’ve won seven national titles, five European medals including a gold and two Multi-Nation gold medals. I captained England and Great Britain around 16 times, and fought for my country 57 times.
I won a medal at the 2008 Olympics and was named BBC North East Sports Personality of the Year.
I was undefeated as a professional, and really helped bring pro boxing in the North East back onto the map ,bringing national TV Sky Sports to the area a load of times for big shows.
I travelled the world and even met the Queen!
Probably my biggest achievement, though, is helping raise well over £200k for charity.
I’m really honoured to have done all this!
Only in the last two weeks I’ve had two people – a cancer survivor and a Paralympic champion – tell me I’d saved or changed their lives by my support. This really put a lump in my throat.
Boxing’s had it’s bad times too. I’ve had surgery five times (on both hands, my right hand, elbow, eye and nose), over 60 stitches in my face and been ripped off with a lot of money as a pro.
But I’m still healthy with 99% of my marbles enjoying living in Los Angeles with my lovely wife.
I’ve had so much help and support from so many people to do what i have done so a huge thanks to: My dad , Mam & 2 sisters Sarah and Lucy, grandparents, Bobby Bute, Jimmy Richardson, Dave Binns, Pete Lindsey, Penny Macutkiewicz, Joe Dunbar , Tommy Brookes, Sean Casey,Terry Edwards, Nigel Davis, Lee Pullen, Bob Dillion, Jim Davison, Bobby Rimmer, Steve Allen, Darren and Nathen Cliff, Stu Rich, Andrew Tyler, Tone Burdon, Stu Kennedy, Brian Rose, Ian Laws ,The Sunderland Echo,The Sunday Sun, Stuart Rayner, The Journal, Michael Bute, Sunderland ABC, Dr Mike Loosemore, Dr Graeme Wilks, Dr Mike Hayton, Irum Greenwell, Chris Edwards, Courage Tshabalala, The Juniors – Frankie Gavin,Ste Smith, Danny Price, James Degale and David Price, Kerry Kayes, Ian Campbell, Soul and Davey Kay at Sun Spirit, Rob Chambers, Andy Kerr, Gary Hutchison, Mike Bowers,Peter Bowers, John Slater, Neil Conlin, Paul Bruce, Sky Sports & a few of their presenters, ITV and all there presenters, Look North, Stephen McCabe, Ron Boddy, David Warriner, Ian Irwin, Martin Ventry, Dave Pocknol, Dave Halloway, George Craig (Butchy), Keith and Darren from Total Sport, Gus Robinson, EDHCC, Martin Barker and Ian Wardroppa.
I’m sure I’ve missed some people out unintentionally and I’m very sorry.
I really would like to thank every single person who has wished me luck, said “well done” or supported me in any way whatsoever over the years. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.
When I eventually have kids and grandkids I will be sure to tell them about the support from around the UK – especially my home city of Sunderland. It really made me the man I am!