Scotty Cardle says he’s still able to look back on his boxing career with plenty of pride despite admitting he under-achieved in the professional ranks.
The Lytham-born 30-year-old called time on his career on New Year’s Day, bringing an end to an eight-year love affair with the sport.
It was around this time last year that Cardle told The Gazette he was going to persevere with his career, despite being badly beaten by Ricky Burns in what turned out to be his last bout in November 2018.
But nothing transpired and, despite wanting to bow out with a win, Cardle felt it was the right call to hang up the gloves.
“It was a tough decision to make,” the lightweight admitted to The Gazette.
“I’ve been trying my hardest to get that comeback fight and I’ve been speaking constantly with my promoter Eddie Hearn.
“I’ve also been back at the gym with Joe Gallagher and it’s been going well, I’ve been staying active in the gym all year pretty much and just waiting for that call. Obviously it hasn’t come and it hasn’t materialised.
“I ended up having a good chat with Eddie a week before Christmas and I told him it was time for me to call it a day.
“Realistically I wanted one more fight just so I could finish my career with my head held high.
“I didn’t want to carry on my career much longer but I wanted one more meaningful fight with enough notice to train and then I would have happily called it a day.
“But that wasn’t meant to be and Eddie was happy to hear I was packing it in as he thought it was the right decision.
“Maybe it was the right decision to be fair.”
Having begun boxing competitively aged 11, Cardle was a national schoolboy champion and three-time national junior champion.
As an amateur he won 103 of his 122 fights, winning titles around Europe and in India. He won a gold for Great Britain in Finland in 2011, the year before he turned professional.
As a pro from the age of 22, he won the Central Area and English titles before claiming the British crown in 2015 with victory against Craig Evans.
He went on to defend it three times before losing to Robbie Barrett on points in 2017.
Having failed in a bid to win back the British title against Lewis Ritson in March 2018, Cardle lost his final fight to Ricky Burns in November of that year, ending with a professional record of 23 wins from 27 fights, with one draw.
“It goes without saying that winning the British title was the highlight of my career,” Cardle added.
“I’ve said in the past that I know I’ve under-achieved in this game in the professional ranks.
“But that being said I’m still very proud of what I have achieved and winning the British title will never be taken away from me. It was my biggest high of being a professional.
“Not that many people have achieved that, so I’m very proud.”
With a baby due in May, Cardle will have plenty to keep him busy in the coming months.
But the Lytham scrapper also has plenty of ambitious plans for the future and hasn't ruled out staying in the sport in one way or another.
“Now I’ve just got to concentrate on whatever happens next, whether that’s starting my own gym and training boxers from the youth or even in the professional ranks,” he said.
“Either way, I’m willing to concentrate on that now because I’ve been in this game for 20 years I’ve got a bit of knowledge and I feel that I can pass along that expertise.
“I’ve also got a baby on the way now and I’ve got to concentrate on providing for my family. But boxing is not the place to do it.
“I’m just going to concentrate on the personal training side for now and hopefully in the long run I can have a gym built up and help build the youth into championship boxers. That’s the dream now.
“At the end of the day the main reason for me retiring is that there’s a new generation coming through. I’ve been in the pros for a long time now, so this is the perfect time for me now to step aside.
“It might even make a few others decide to pack it in as well, but time will tell on that one.
“I feel it’s the right decision now I’ve made it, although I spent all year knowing that I wanted that last fight.
“I feel now I’ve done it a lot of weight has come off my chest and I feel better and more excited for the future, whatever it holds.”