Former British bantamweight champion Kash Farooq retires at the age of 26

Former British bantamweight champion Kash Farooq has been forced to retire from boxing at the age of 26.

The Glasgow fighter has hung up his gloves because of “unforeseen circumstances”.

The news was announced by the St Andrews Sporting Club, where Farooq will now work as head of talent.

A statement read: “It will come as a shock but due to unforeseen circumstances, we regret to announce that Kash Farooq is hanging up his gloves and retiring from professional boxing.

“We are truly honoured to have been given the privilege to guide the bantamweight through his career, from professional debut in October 2015 to his final fight last August.

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“Although ‘The Untouchable Kash Farooq’ retires from being a boxer, we are excited to begin this new chapter together.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the British Boxing Board of Control and their support on the matter.

“Their procedures offer as a safeguard protection and prevention to potential harm, with the health and safety of the boxers being paramount at all times.”

Farooq won 16 of his 17 fights with his only defeat coming against Scottish rival Lee McGregor on a split decision following a British and Commonwealth title fight.

The Pakistan-born fighter had previously won four British title fights and bounced back from the disappointment of missing out on the decision against McGregor, who is now European champion.

Farooq won a WBA continental title, a WBC international silver and a WBC international belt in his final three fights, the last of which came against Luis Castillo in August last year.

Those three fights were promoted by Matchroom Boxing, who passed on their best wishes to their retiring fighter.

“No doubt was destined for World honours,” a brief statement added on Twitter. “A brilliant fighter and top man.”

McGregor was “absolutely devastated” to hear the news.

“We both helped each other so much from sparring as amateurs to being involved in one of the best fights Scotland has ever seen between two Scottish fighters,” he added on social media.

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McGregor declared it was “heartbreaking” that they would not get the much-touted rematch between the pair.

He added: “It was an honour to share the ring with you champ. I wish you nothing but the best.”

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