FORMER heavyweight boxing world champion Alexander Poevtkin has announced his retirement from the sport.
And the Russian has cited the after-effects of the coronavirus as being a key reason for hanging up his gloves.
Povetkin is going out on a defeat, after he was KO’d by Brit Dillian Whyte in their rematch in March.
Six months earlier the 41-year-old had upset the apple cart when he delivered a monstrous KO uppercut on Whyte to secure a fifth-round stoppage.
But Povetkin contracted coronavirus in the months after that victory that set Whyte Part II back.
When he did finally step back into the ring against the Bodysnatcher, Povetkin seemed all over the place and it was no surprise when he was flattened in the fourth.
On his retirement, Povetkin told Russian website TASS: “The years are taking their toll. I decided to end my career.
“After the coronavirus, a lot needs to be treated, time will pass, I’m not 20-years-old anymore.
“I feel like I’m drunk in sparring and training after the coronavirus, it really affects.”
Povetkin ends his career with 36 wins from his 40 fights, with just three losses and one draw.
The other defeats came against Anthony Joshua in 2018 and the legendary Wladimir Klischko in 2013.
Povetkin drew against American Michael Hunter on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s revenge mission against Andy Ruiz Jr in 2016.
Whyte, meanwhile, is back as the WBC mandatory challenger – a title held by Tysonb Fury after he battered Deontay Wilder in February.
EURO 2020 BETTING SPECIAL – GET £1 FREE BET FOR EVERY SHOT ON TARGET YOUR GOLDEN BOOT SELECTION HAS