Belfast Telegraph

Carl Frampton hails Oscar De La Hoya's decision and discusses calling time on his own boxing career

By Carl Frampton

Boxing is the one sport when you really do have to know when it’s time to walk away — and I was glad to hear this week that Oscar De La Hoya had ruled out a comeback.

When the rumours started that the American was tempted about coming back, I didn’t really believe it and thank goodness he didn’t because he’s a hero to many, many people.

I suppose I won’t really know why fighters come back or keep going when they should be retired until I am in that position — but my coach Shane McGuigan and I have already discussed it.

We both wrote down an age at which I should be hanging up the gloves and they weren’t far apart. It’s not set in stone because if I’m still beating the best fighters around and I feel good then I could keep going but I certainly don’t expect to still be fighting at 35.

They say the fighter is the last to know when it’s time to retire but the good thing for me is that I have a team around me in Shane and Barry who will see any little drop in standard and tell me that it’s time to go.

Barry retired at 28 because he was burnt out and he would admit to that. He would have been doing 15 mile runs in army boots and then going to spar later that day. He got out at the right time and was able to stay away but then you have other guys who just can’t replace the buzz you get from boxing, so they go back into the ring or turn to alcohol or drugs which is very sad.

The buzz I understand because when I stand on the ramp at the Odyssey and the fans see me for the first time it’s an incredible feeling, the noise and the anticipation of the fight — you just can’t explain the buzz you get and I suppose that can never be replaced.

But you have to be smart and know there are more things to life than boxing. Taking punches to the head well into your 30s isn’t good for you — and if you go too long it can be fatal.

Nobody wants to see a sportsman go on too long and when I see legends like Roy Jones fighting on and on and just a shadow of themselves it’s very sad to see. I’ve got a signed glove of Roy Jones’ and every time he fights it goes down in value!

At this stage of my career I’m entering my peak years, there’s a lot of big fights ahead and I believe I’m ready to go and beat anyone around my weight.

The team can tell me when it’s time to leave the ring behind and I’ll listen.

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