CARL DICKENS revealed he is “devastated” following his decision to call time on his boxing career, but ‘The Wallop’ says health and family comes first as he moves into the next chapter of his life.
The 34-year-old was beaten by a point in the recent four-round light middleweight contest against Duane Green at Villa Park and Dickens instantly decided it was the correct move to hang up his gloves.
Dickens’ wife Ashley is due to give birth in around a month’s time and, with his young son Cieran also in his thoughts, it has become a case of family priorities for the all-action boxer.
Dickens, originally from Winyates, won ten of his 14 professional bouts and also had 33 amateur fights. He had declared before his last fight that victory was pretty much must-win in order to maintain his dream of fighting for at least a British Challenge Belt.
Failure to do so left the popular Dickens – who has been supported by a legion of fans throughout his boxing career – at a crossroads in his life and he knew there and then what was best for the future.
“I boxed really well in the first round but got caught in the second and had a cut by my left eyebrow. It was sliced open again in the third and I was just boxing on adrenaline with blood in my eyes really,” said Dickens.
“I managed to win the fourth round easily but it wasn’t quite enough and I knew there and then that my next fight wasn’t going to be for a belt, which it really had to be.
“I wasn’t quite myself in there and I thought to myself, ‘you could end up getting badly hurt if you carry on’. That told me all I needed to know because family must always come first.
“I’m going to be a dad for a second time in four weeks or so and I have my son and wife to think about. If something bad happened to me in there, I’d never forgive myself to be honest.
“I’m gutted I didn’t manage to win a title but I did fight for one and, along with Andrew Robinson, I am proud to have put Redditch on the boxing map.
“Coaching really appeals to me and I’d like to get involved helping the youth of Redditch and Birmingham to progress their careers.”
Dickens, who proudly points out that in 47 fights he has never been knocked out or put on his backside, will now take some time to relax by “just working” before the new addition to his family arrives.
He added: “For the last 12 years boxing is all I have ever known but my health and family is more important.
“My beautiful wife and kids come first. It’s a very dangerous sport and I have had a good run but I would rather go out on my shield than get hurt.
“I am proud to be known as a tough warrior and go out that way. Thank you to everyone who has ever come to support me, my sponsors and my amateur trainers Gary Blower, Michael Maguire and Ray Monk.
“Also thanks to my manager Jon Pegg and most of all my trainer Spencer McCracken who was a great trainer and friend. I’m now going to enjoy putting my knowledge into youth training.”
Blower, of Birmingham’s Studio ABC, hailed Dickens’ efforts, saying: “Sorry to hear ex-Studio boxer Carl Dickens has had his last professional bout.
“I trained Carl in the amateurs and the first half of his professional career and as a fighter he always gave 100 per cent. He was as brave as they come and is a good friend. Good luck in the future mate.”