Lurgan boxer Sean ‘Sugar’ Lennon bowed out of the sport with a golden performance at the Multi-Nations tournament in Portugal last week.
The 30-year-old announced his retirement on returning home with a gold medal after winning the welterweight division at the tournament held in Faro.
“I had lost in the Ulster Finals a few weeks ago and it was a bit of a disappointment as a few people thought I had done enough to get the verdict and at that point I was ready to quit,” explained the Derrymacash man.
“I got the invite to go to Portugal and I’m glad the way it worked out. To come back with the gold is a great way to go into retirement. I have been boxing for 17 years, first with the Phoenix Club in Lurgan and then with Gilford Boxing Club for the past nine years.”
Sean had three fights in three days and up first he had a tough challenge against the Portuguese National Champion and a member of the national Olympic team in 2012. “He was a tough opponent but I came through on points. I faced the Brazilian National champion next and again came through on points. In the last fight I managed to stop my Spanish opponent to clinch the gold medal,” added Sean.
“It was a great experience and I would like to thank my coaches over the years, especially Noel Doyle during the past year, for all their excellent support and help along the way.”
Most boxing fans enjoy the glamour of the big TV fights and the lucrative money on the line in the headline title fights, but the grassroots of the sport means hard graft and total dedication.
“Very few boxers ever reach the top but that does not mean you cannot enjoy it if you put in the hard work and are dedicated. I have enjoyed my time in the sport but I’ve taken enough bangs to the head, had over 70 fights, so it’s time to call it a day. Not many from Lurgan can say they won a gold medal and I am proud of that. I have a young son and I always wanted to stop when I got to 30 so it could not have worked out any better.
“I have a gym at home and will keep in shape and play football and gaelic when I can.”