Former British heavyweight champion Danny Williams today admitted he wanted to retire three years ago because he feared he could die in the ring.
However, the 45-year-old continued to box purely to earn money to keep his two daughters away from the rising gun culture in South London.
Williams, who famously knocked out Mike Tyson in 2004, called time on his 23-year professional career following defeat by Lee McAllister.
Ultimately it was a sad ending for a boxer who had fought for the heavyweight world title.
Williams said: “I have wanted to retire for a long time, but this is the end. There have been times when going into a fight, and I am in the changing room and have actually been scared.
“Not because I thought I was going to lose, but because I thought I was going to die.
“But I pushed through it and done my job. My reason for continuing to box was because I wanted to see my girls in private school away from the mad people I grew up with in South London.
“I had people bringing guns to my house, but my daughters are grown up now.
“They were the reason I was boxing. I got my oldest daughter through private school and my youngest daughter is 14 now and has one more year.
“This fight will pay for that so there is no reason to fight anymore. So it is goodbye.”
The sad reality is few former boxing champions take their final ring bow on a high.
This was a particular low for a former Lonsdale belt holder who also won a Commonwealth title. Knocked to the canvas three times by a fighter who had stepped up five weight division and began his career at lightweight.
Ultimately Williams’ corner threw in the towel in the 10th to end the bout for the WBU belt.
Williams admitted having to box way beyond his halcyon days for cash had driven him to hate the sport – and it showed in the Granite City.
Williams said: “It is a massive relief that I have retired.
“Honestly, for the last three years I have hated boxing. I hate it. I love watching it, but participating – I can’t take it.”
Almost 10 years to the day, in July 2008, Williams took the British heavyweight title with a win over John McDermott.
That seemed a lifetime ago as his career ended in Aberdeen.
“I was terrible (against McAllister) and couldn’t get my shots out,” he said.
“A peak Danny Willlams would have ended it in the second round.
“But,” he paused, “this is old Danny Williams.
“If you were to come and fight me it would have been different. But he backed up and threw combinations and boxed very smart. McAllister did very well.”
Williams’ legacy must not be the image of him sprawled on the canvas in the Granite City.
It must be his title victories, his win over Tyson and sensational stoppage victory over Mark Potter in 2000 in a British and Commonwealth title fight.
He said: “I had some really good moments – and some really bad moments.
“My career has been really up and down. Things like beating Mark Potter and becoming the only fighter in the history of boxing to win a fight with a dislocated shoulder – that cannot be taken away from me.
“Nor can being second only to Henry Cooper in title defences.”
Williams will now turn his back on boxing.
He said: “I am going to do some bodyguard work in Nigeria. It is a very risky job as I will have a gun with me – I have a gun licence. I am definitely, totally finished with boxing.”