Ex-British champ Farooq retires at 26

Kash Farooq, right, suffered his sole career defeat in an epic British and Commonwealth title bout with Lee McGregor

Scottish bantamweight Kash Farooq has announced his shock retirement from professional boxing at age 26 because of “unforeseen circumstances”.

The Pakistan-born former British champion made his debut in 2015 and bows out with 16 wins in 17 fights.

He won the British title in 2018 and had three successful defences before losing on a split decision to fellow Scot Lee McGregor the following year.

The pair were set for a highly anticipated rematch this year.

Switching to Matchroom Boxing in the wake of that defeat, Farooq won what proved to be his final three bouts, claiming two WBC international belts and the WBA continental title to cement his reputation as one of Scotland’s finest talents.

The St Andrew’s Sporting Club confirmed Farooq’s retirement and that he will take up a role as head of talent with the management and promotion company.

“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,” the statement added.

“His story is the epitome of what is truly possible in this game with hard work and dedication.”

McGregor, writing on social media, said he is “devastated” by Farooq’s retirement, adding “It’s heartbreaking we won’t get that special night we were all looking forward to”.

Matchroom Boxing also paid tribute to a fighter who was “no doubt destined for world honours”.

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