Shannon Miller decides to hang up the gloves
Below is the retirement letter Miller submitted to us this afternoon.
Dear family, friends, and supporters:
I wanted to take a few moments to thank you for your many years of support in my boxing career. As many of you know, I started going to the gym with my father when I was just six years old. I had my first amateur match at eight years old. I won a bronze medal in the Junior Olympics Nationals in Davenport, Iowa and got to travel around the country many times as a young kid thanks to the support of the Adirondack Boxing Association and the many local clubs who financed many of these trips (my father a big part of it).
At the age of 18 I entered into a toughman contest, and surprising to some, won the contest. By winning the contest and accepting the $1,000 prize money, I had in effect ended my amateur status. At the age of eighteen I turned pro. I fought only sparingly for many years as my father was doing the most important job as a father and protecting his child from danger. He knew the danger of the sport from seeing it for many years in the business. I at the time was angry at my father for not getting me more fights. Only recently did I understand the pain that he was trying to protect me from. In seven years I fought eight times. My record stood at 8-0 with 5 ko's.
I had no fights from 1999 to 2004 as I concentrated on my first child, Devan. I 2004 I returned to the ring to have 2 more fights, winning both. In early 2005 I met a lady by the named of Lisa Elovich who was interested in running shows under her company Pugnacious Promotions. After my first fight under her company with a win, I signed to fight Vinny Maddalone. This fight was the 2005 ESPN fight of the year and a fight many still talk about today. After that fight I signed on with Pugnacious Promotions as my lone promoter. My contract with them expired many years ago, yet I continue to work with Pugnacious because I believe Lisa Elovich is a sincere caring person and a lady of her word. Although we have had some disagreements in our relationship, I believe she was always looking out for what she thought was the best for me. I value her friendship and encourage fighters all over the country to enter into business with her.
After the fight with Maddalone, I had garnered some national attention and people knew who I was. That fight propelled me into many bigger fights including a NYS Title Fight at Madison Square Garden vs. Derric Rossy (13-0) and a fight for the WBC USNBC Heavyweight Title versus Joe Messi (34-0).
I Just completed my last fight versus former two-time world heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman (45-7). I lost this fight in the forth round as my corner stopped the fight. I was done once in each of the four rounds, I got up each time to fight again. I had a big moment in the fight when I landed a giant right hand which buckled the legs of Rahman and had people thinking there may be a giant upset in the making. I could not finish the job. As I sit here writing
this letter I have had to take many breaks to catch my breath and wipe my eyes as this is a tough thing to realize and do.
At the age of 36, I have had enough. My body just wont allow me to do the things that my
mind still thinks it can. I have stepped up to every challenge that has been offered me but i wont allow myself to become a punching bag like many fighters do by sticking around too long. Boxing is something I do, not who I am. I can look back on my career with pride as I was never the
most talented or gifted fighter out there but I don't think you will find many who tried harder or never gave up. Please take this as my official announcement of my retirement from the boxing ring.
I would like to thank a few people who have made a impact on my life or influenced my boxing career. First, I would like to thank my wife. She has made the ultimate sacrifice for a boxer by basically being a single parent during all these years of training. She has stood by me always
with her support and love. Secondly, I would like to my mother, the strongest person I have ever met and the biggest inspiration in my life. Third, I want to thank my father for always being a dad first and a manager second. I understand now! I also want to thank my brother Shawn and my trainer Billy Growick. They stuck with me an pushed me when others walked away. My sisters, who always were my biggest fans. Thank you Lisa Elovich for giving me a chance. You're a class act. To all my fans for showing up at the shows and cheering me on. Last but not least,
I want to thank my Children, Devan and Olivia, for loving me and telling me "just get up" if knocked down.
Thank You all!
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