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Kevin Mitchell admits 'enough is enough' as he retires

Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Kevin Mitchell has retired aged 31, rather than box for the European title next month.

The Londoner lost his last two fights by stoppage but had been linked to challenging European lightweight champion Edis Tatli in Finland on Mar. 19.

Mitchell (39-4, 29 KOs) had a roller-coaster career featuring many classic clashes, but failed when it mattered in three world title fights.

His latest two defeats -- in the fifth round to Ismael Barroso in December and in 10 rounds to Jorge Linares for the WBC world title in May -- ultimately were too much for Mitchell to come back from.

"I was in the gym training for the Edis Tatli fight and I just didn't really feel that I have enough to go through the training once again," said Mitchell.

"I've been fighting for 22 years, it is a long time to be putting your body through all you have to do to get right for a fight and my body has said 'enough is enough.'"

Mitchell rebounded from earlier defeats to deliver stunning performances and his tidy boxing saw him win impressively against the likes of Breidis Prescott, John Murray, Ghislain Maduma and Daniel Estrada.

The Dagenham boxer won British and Commonwealth super-featherweight titles before stepping up to lightweight where he fought for world titles.

The most painful of those world title losses was arguably his first in May 2010, when he was wiped out in three rounds by Australian Michael Katsidis for the WBO Interim title in front of 15,000 at Upton Park, the home of his beloved West Ham United.

Mitchell blamed defeat to Katsidis on boozing and a bad lifestyle, which he reckoned he wasted over £100,000 on.

He then travelled to Glasgow in September 2012 to challenge Ricky Burns and was stopped in four rounds for the WBO title, but he clawed his way back into world title contention.

Mitchell had been floored and was badly cut when the WBC world lightweight champion Jorge Linares stopped him in the 10th round in November 2015, although the Londoner still has fond memories of the night.

"I've had so many highlights but walking out at The O2 for the Linares fight and hearing the fans cheering for me and seeing 'Forever Blowing Bubbles' was just an unbelievable feeling," said Mitchell.

"I like to think I was an exciting fighter that gave the fans value for money. I don't think they make fighters like me anymore, fighters that put it all on the line every time they fight."

Mitchell will remain in boxing, helping trainer Tony Sims, who trains the likes of heavyweight contender Anthony Joshua, in his Essex gym.