FORMER WBA super-middleweight champion George Groves has announced his retirement from the sport.

The 30-year-old – who used to train under Swindon coach Paddy Fitzpatrick amid his search to land the IBF and WBA super-middleweight titles from Carl Froch – confirmed the news on social media by releasing a statement.

Following 19 fights unbeaten, Groves’ career sparked into life in November 2013 under Fitzpatrick when he went toe-to-toe with Carl Froch to contest the IBF and WBA super-middleweight world title.

The first fight was controversially stopped before Groves was knocked down in the second in front of 80,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium – the highest attendance at the time for any bout in the UK since World War II.

Following a third world title defeat to Badou Jack in 2015, Groves parted company with Fitzpatrick and later went on to land the WBA title at his fourth attempt when stopping Russian Fedor Chudinov in round six.

‘The Saint’ admitted in his statement that he wishes to spend more time with his family while he can enjoy his ‘better days’ and thanked his fans for their support.

It read: “After taking a little time to reflect on the recent events in my career, I have decided that it is time for me to retire as a professional fighter.

“In 2017, I boxed in front of a home crowd in Sheffield and became the WBA super middle-weight world champion.

“After four attempts, I had finally fulfilled my childhood dream, and the experience was as great as I always imagined it would be. It was without doubt the best moment of my career.

“Some of you might think that it is odd choosing this time to retire. I’m still young, still fit and healthy, and there are still some big fights out there for me.

“But it’s for these reasons that I’m choosing to retire now. I have a young family at home, it’s time to spend some of my better days with them.

“I don’t want there to be a time where I am ‘too old’ to box on, or where any injury retires me in or out of the ring.

“Over the years, I have seen and sadly known the dangers of the sport, and I want to respectfully bow out while I’m at the top of my game.

“I’ve learnt that doesn’t always mean coming off the back of a win. I’ve boxed at the highest level, all over the world, I’ve been a champion and I’ll be leaving the sport (relatively!) intact.”

Groves ends his career having fought 32 fights, winning 28 – 20 by knockout - and losing just four.