Retirement Speech

 

Like many champions, I’ve had my disagreements with the press. But more often than not members of the media have returned to me the respect that I tried to extend to them. I thank the press for understanding that, while our careers have been linked, I’m the one who had to be responsible for, and live with, the decisions I made and that I’ve always has a life apart from what I did in the ring. Thank you for supporting me while I became a heavyweight champion on my own terms.

 

Thank you to HBO for supporting me throughout my career.

 

There are many more people I’m indebted to; and I will be thanking you all personally in the days, months, and years ahead. But I want to say “Thank you” now to the people of England, where I was born; to the people of Canada where I was raised and nurtured, who gave me the honor of representing them in the Olympic Games; to the people of Jamaica, my ancestral home; to the people of the United States, who welcomed me to their shores; and to all of the other fans who wished me well from around the world. In difficult times, I was inspired by their faith in me.

 

A special thank you to each of the men I’ve fought. This includes boxers like Ray Mercer, Evander Holyfield, and Mike Tyson, who brought out the best in me in the defining fights of my career. And thank you also to all the other men who entered the ring to exchange blows with me. They are part of my story and their names will go down in history in the record book next to mine.
 

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