- Michael Woods, Boxing
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Four days after losing a unanimous decision to Delvin Rodriguez at Madison Square Garden, junior middleweight Pawel Wolak announced he is retiring from boxing. He did so via Facebook, and Twitter.
Here is the statement the New Jersey fighter, who fought to a draw with Rodriguez in July, gave on Facebook:
"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.
"I am not going to do any interviews at this time. While I am retiring I am staying under contract for the duration of my contract terms with both Top Rank and my manager Cameron Dunkin. Please direct all questions to Cameron. Onwards and upwards."
I called Dunkin at 5:30 p.m., and this was the first he'd heard of it. Same with Top Rank's VP Carl Moretti. He hadn't heard that Wolak (age 30; 29-2-1) was exiting the game.
The boxer released the news at 4:55 p.m. on Twitter: "with heavy heart I announce my retirement. u need heart, passion, desire 2 compete, but the mind needs 2 know when it is time. FB has more"
Wolak started as a pro in 2004. He was a consummate lunchpail banger, not too pretty, not too smooth, just a banger who was going to be in your grill from the national anthem onward.
We will verify that the announcements are on the level.
Here is a video I did of Wolak last month, in which he betrays no loss of love for the savage science that is boxing.