Neale calls time on professional career

Garry Neale. Picture: Mick Young (124213-07)
Garry Neale. Picture: Mick Young (124213-07)
Jack Stringer

Pompey pride on the line for English honour

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Garry Neale has bowed out of the paid ranks.

The popular Leigh Park lightweight has made the decision to call time on his professional career after compiling a record of eight wins from eight fight.

Neale, 26, won a Masters title in his last bout – defeating Slovakia’s Elemir Rafael at the Mountbatten Centre in December of last year.

And he was on the verge of a shot at the Southern Area strap.

But the pressures of a growing family and a full-time job as a ground-worker have seen him shelve his ambitions in the ring.

Neale said: ‘My son Ralphie was born in February and I was only seeing him for half an hour every day due to work and training.

‘I hated spending so little time with him and my wife Jenna and I’ve got to put my family first.

‘It was a very hard decision to make but it’s the right time.

‘I can’t fight half-heartedly and boxing takes so much dedication. I was taking time off work for boxing but we’re trying to buy our first house and I can’t afford to do that anymore.

‘Although I won a Master’s title, I didn’t achieve as much as I wanted to.

‘I’d have loved to have won a Southern Area title. That was always my aim.’

Despite his relatively short career, Neale built up an army of fans.

And he has thanked them for all their support.

He said: ‘I’m really going miss the buzz of boxing, walking to the ring with the crowd cheering.

‘I’d like to thank all my fans – for their support over the three years I’ve been a professional – and my friends and family, who have made sacrifices too, especially when I’ve been grumpy and unsociable.

‘Boxing can bring a lot of mood swings and they’ve put up with all that. Without them I couldn’t have done it.

‘Also there’s a massive thank you to those who have sponsored me, every penny made such a difference.’