Tony Bellew: Former cruiserweight champion confirms retirement

Tony Bellew held the world WBC cruiserweight title and won 30 of his 34 fights. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Former world cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew has confirmed his retirement from boxing aged 35.

Bellew (30-3-1, 20 KOs) was defeated in his last fight by WBA-WBO-IBF king Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs) on Nov. 10 in Manchester as he attempted to become the undisputed world champion.

In a video message posted on social media, Bellew thanked his fans as he looked back on his career.

"It is time for me to finally leave the ring," Bellew said.

"There will be no more fighting from me. The only things you will see me doing from here on in is trying to act sensible and behave myself. I've had a fantastic career. I've realised my dreams.

"On May 29 2016, my wildest dreams came true. I became the WBC cruiserweight champion of the world at Goodison Park. The dream location, the dream title, the dream ending, a third-round knockout of Iunga Makabu.

"It's been a story, it's been a journey. A British, a commonwealth, a European title also secured along the way, and various journeys, stories, that I've got to go over over the years. So thank you for your support and guys I'm officially retired, goodbye."

Bellew, whose career started in Nottingham in 2007, won his first 16 fights before he was stopped by English rival Nathan Cleverly after challenging him for the WBO world light-heavyweight title in 2011.

He also lost to Adonis Stevenson in a shot at the WBC world light-heavyweight title in 2013, before he avenged his defeat to Cleverly in 2014.

Two years later Bellew got a shot a the vacant WBC cruiserweight title, beating Iunga Makabu to become world champion on a memorable night at Goodison Park, the ground of his beloved football team Everton.

But perhaps the most significant wins of Bellew's career were the two stoppage triumphs over former WBC world heavyweight champion David Haye. Bellew stepped up to heavyweight and started as underdog for the fights last year and in May.

Bellew planned to retire following his second victory over Haye, but was called out by Usyk when the Ukrainian won the World Boxing Super Series title to become a three-belt world champion in July, the prospect of challenging for the undisputed word cruiserweight title too good to turn down.