British and Commonwealth cruiserweight champion Ovill McKenzie has been forced to retire from boxing after being diagnosed with a heart condition.
McKenzie pulled out of September’s IBO cruiserweight clash with Marco Huck on medical grounds and has not fought since earning a controversial draw in an IBF title challenge against Argentine Victor Emilio Ramirez in Buenos Aires in October last year.
The 36-year-old Jamaica-born, Derby-based fighter hangs up his gloves with a 25-12-1-KO13 record.
McKenzie tweeted: “It is with great sadness that I announce that I am retiring from boxing. I have been diagnosed with a heart condition.
“I can no longer pursue my dream of being a world champion. I would like to take this time to thank everyone from my team to the fans.
“As disappointed as I am about the situation, it’s been a great pleasure getting to perform for you all and I have to keep my chin up!”
McKenzie won Commonwealth titles at cruiserweight and light-heavyweight, and added the British cruiserweight crown with victory over Jon Lewis Dickinson in 2014.
‘The Upsetter’ won the Prizefighter Tournament in 2009 and twice fought Tony Bellew, flooring the then undefeated Liverpudlian twice in the opening two rounds of their first fight in 2010, before being stopped in the eighth round.
WBC cruiserweight champion Bellew paid his respects to his former rival on Twitter.
“Sorry to hear this Ovill, your a top level competitor an I wish you well for the future mate,” he tweeted.