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27 Sep, 2019 15:02

Knockout blow: Kazakh boxing stunner Firuza Sharipova forced to call time on ring career due to funding woes

Knockout blow: Kazakh boxing stunner Firuza Sharipova forced to call time on ring career due to funding woes

Kazakh former two-weight women’s world boxing champion Firuza Sharipova – also known as her nation’s ‘sexiest athlete’ – has quit the sport at the age of 25, citing financial reasons.

Sharipova captured mutiple women's world titles during her 11-fight career, but on Friday posted an emotional retirement message to social media followers in which she lamented “unfulfilled financial promises” that have forced her to call time on her ring tenure.

“Dear friends! I have decided to end my sports career. I want to thank my coaches, my manager, my team for their excellent work! Together we set several records for Kazakhstan,” Sharipova wrote to her 48,000 Instagram followers.   

“No one except us in Kazakhstan has achieved such great results in professional boxing in such a short period of time,” she added.

Sharipova became her country’s first ever female professional boxer after turning 21, going on to win the women's IBA lightweight title as well as the IBO super-featherweight belt and WBC silver title at the same weight. 

Earlier this year, she told RT Sport of her continued hopes to unify the titles with a fight against Finnish WBCsuper-featherweight champ Eva Wahlstrom.

The pair were due to meet in November of last year before an injury to the Kazakh star forced the cancelation of the bout.

Also on rt.com 'I'd love to train with Putin & pose for Playboy... but no nudes!' Firuza Sharipova to RT (VIDEO)

Sharipova went on to defeat Russia’s Anastasia Trisheva via TKO in April, and was due to face another Russian, Yulia Kutsenko, in a June rematch at the Global Boxing Forum in Ekaterinburg, although the fight was canceled, reportedly due to financial issues. 

Sharipova added in her retirement message:“Unfortunately, we stopped just one step from the main title in professional boxing. We were ready to fight for the title of WBC World Champion for Kazakhstan back in 2018, but we could not do this only for financial reasons.

“We were promised many times the finances for the fight for the WBC world title, but the money was never allocated.

“For almost two years I have kept in shape in order to win this title at any time. I'm tired of waiting.

“Maintaining a high level of athletic form, necessary for big victories, requires a huge expenditure of energy, nerves, and money.

“Unfortunately, I do not see any prospects for transforming these efforts into results. There were many encouraging promises during this time, but they all remained promises. Life goes on, and I'm not ready to spend it on futile expectations.

“I want to say a huge thank you to all my fans and all who have supported me all these years. Forgive me for not being able to bring you joy with the conquest of the main title. I tried my best, but not everything in this world depends on me,” Sharipova closed out the heartfelt message by writing.

While Sharipova is calling time on her ring career, she can continue to leverage the popularity and marketing power she has acquired through her boxing success.

She was formerly crowned Kazakhstan’s ‘sexiest athlete’, while this year betting markets even opened on her calling out a host of famous names such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Also on rt.com Fight Putin or pose for Playboy? - Kazakh betting market opens bizarre odds on stunning female boxer