39-year-old Stacey Copeland (5-0, 2KOs) forced to retire just five fights into her professional career.
The London-born boxer won silver in the welterweight category at the 2014 European Championships in Bucharest, Romania, losing out Azerbaijani female boxer Elena Vystropova in the finals.
As a pro, she won the Commonwealth female super-welterweight title in her fifth fight in July 2018, just over a year on from her debut. Her first four fights were held at her local Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester, but her fifth and final fight was away from home in Harare, Zimbabwe.
She released the following statement on January 18:
"The time has come for me to retire from competitive sport. This most definitely is not on my terms, but my body cannot overcome the damage done over the years, last May I was on crutches for the 3rd time in 12 months and the doctors confirmed my worst fears. Surgery lays ahead to help me long term but meanwhile I need to look after my body for once. I’ve been waiting to feel ‘ready’ to post about retiring, and that feeling definitely hasn’t come but I do need to let everyone know, plus it’s time for me to accept it and look ahead.
I had dreams left to fulfil, which I fully believed I could accomplish and wanted with every bit of me, so it's a horrible feeling to have to stop, and sport is the part of me that I don't yet know how to live happily without, it just feels like a massive void I'll never fill, but this comes to every athlete and all chapters must end for new ones to begin. I started playing footy and boxing around 7 years old and signed to play in the women's premier league at 15, that was 24 years ago and in that time I've dedicated my whole life to elite level competition, represented my country in both sports and achieved things I only dreamed about as a kid. I couldn't have done that without huge support, so thank you to every one of you who has helped me in any way. I'll be forever grateful to all of you but also to sport, for being the most fantastic rollercoaster ride, the biggest thrill, the wisest teacher, the scariest dare, the most exciting journey, and the greatest gift to receive as a little kid filled with energy, passion and big dreams. The photo by my friend Nigel Maitland is from my pro debut where I took a moment to thank everyone and take in what it meant to realise a dream that wasn't even legal when I was kid, it felt surreal, and it always reminds me of what is possible.
What won't change, is that I'll continue to try to positively impact others and make a difference, after all, that's surely what me, all my hyperactive energy and my big heart were put here for! Thank you to all of you, and lots of love. My 'letter to sport' is on the link in this post, I hope you enjoy reading it."
BBN would like to wish Stacey all the very best in her retirement.