Family man Fletcher hangs up gloves

BOXING: He has stood toe-to-toe with some of the best middleweights on the planet, but Jarrod Fletcher says announcing his retirement from the sport was the toughest thing he has had to do.

Twenty-one years after he first laced up the gloves, Hervey Bay's champion boxer has given up the fight game to spend more time with his family.

The father-of-two retires with a professional record of 18 wins (10 knockouts) and three defeats, finishing with back-to-back losses to two of the world's best middleweights.

In December he lost a unanimous decision to good friend Daniel Geale and four months earlier he was stopped in New York by hard-hitting American Daniel Jacobs while fighting for the WBA world crown.

His last victory was against Ukrainian Max Bursak in Monte Carlo for the vacant WBA International middleweight title more than a year ago.

While his career has not been "financially rewarding", Fletcher said he had "done what I wanted to do and lived my dream".

He also said discovering his two-year-old daughter Milla had the complex and potentially debilitating Velocardiofacial syndrome had helped him make the decision to retire.

"Boxing is a very selfish sport," Fletcher (pictured) said.

"Everything since day dot has been about me so it's time I put all my time into my kids and my wife and become a better husband and a better father."