Grigory Drozd, a former cruiserweight world champion, has officially announced his retirement more than 30 months since last stepping into the ring.
In a statement, Drozd thanked fans and coaches on the last day of 2017, finishing up a professional career that started back in 2001.
"Dear friends, fans of boxing, today has become a very important day. I made a very important decision for myself: I, Grigory Drozd, world boxing champion, officially declare that my sports career is finished. I want to say a big thank you to my coach Sergey Vasiliev, who was with me all the way from start to finish. I want to thank my second coach Vitaly Miller, my physical training coach Volkov Vasily, the masseur Sergei Goncharenko and my manager Anton Zhdanov," Drozd said.
Drozd spent the first six years of his career undefeated until he lost a WBA cruiserweight title eliminator to Firat Arslan in 2016. Since the loss to Arslan, Drozd racked up numerous wins, capturing various regional cruiserweight titles until getting back up to world championship contention.
Nearly eight years after suffering his first and only pro defeat, Drozd won the WBC cruiserweight world title by beating Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. Drozd defended his title just once, stopping Lukasz Janik in the ninth round back in 2015.
Due to countless injuries, he was unable to conduct a mandatory defense against Ilungi Makabu. Back in 2016, the WBC gave Drozd the status of "champion in recess" and gave him the right to secure a mandatory world title shot upon return, but that return never happened. Drozd finished his pro career with a 40-1 record.