Audley Harrison has revealed that he is suffering from traumatic brain injuries and is facing the threat of bankruptcy after announcing his retirement from boxing.
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Harrison won an Olympic gold medal back in 2000 but he has not fought professionally since 2013 when he was knocked out by now WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
Having recently suggested that he wanted to make a comeback with the likes of Anthony Joshua and Dereck Chisora on his radar, the veteran fighter has decided to call time on his career due to health concerns.
“I am no longer a professional boxer, and that is good with me. After locking myself away for the last five weeks, I’ve tried to focus and turn back the clock to get myself into fighting condition,” Harrison said in a statement, as reported by the Daily Mail.
“I’ve also seen specialists for my brain, eyes and various other experts to test my body functions in regards to strength, power, speed, reaction time, cognitive function and agility.
“I’ve suffered a few TBIs (traumatic brain injuries) and will have to work hard to reverse some of the effects taking punches to the head has brought about to my overall health.
“I have vision problems, vestibular issues that lead to balance disturbances, and have serious bouts of irritability and moodiness that comes with TBI recovery.”
The 43-year-old said in the immediate aftermath of the Wilder loss that it was the end of his career, but he has struggled to come to terms with turning his back on the sport and had made a conscious effort to see whether or not he still had the fight in him to return to the ring.
While that dream is now over, Harrison also admitted that he has been reckless with his earnings over his career and could face bankruptcy in the UK after splurging “like Tony Montana”.
His hope is to now become a trainer in California where he resides and also to set up an agency to give up and coming boxers financial advice while his wife also invested in a business and real estate in a bid to continue their earnings.
Harrison flattered to deceive throughout his career as although he secured some memorable moments, unfortunately for him his losses against the likes of Wilder, David Haye and David Price will likely be the bouts that he is remembered for.