The signs were there after a loss to Lee Selby that ex-European champion Rendall Munroe’s days in boxing were numbered.
As he trotted forward, attempting to apply pressure to the ‘Welsh Mayweather’, he could get nowhere the younger, fresher and quicker man. After a disputed but ultimately fair sixth-round stoppage, Munroe’s career hung precariously in the balance.
Munroe is a gritty character though and decided to fight on, this time in challenging Leeds upstart Josh Warrington for the Commonwealth title, a belt the latter won in an absorbing contest with Samir Mouneimne last November.
Though not known for his power (one stoppage win in 16 previous bouts), Warrington kept Munroe at bay, effectively working in bursts and cleanly winning rounds.
It was almost like watching a replay of the Selby clash months previous – though the worrying thing was Warrington is nowhere near the same class as the Welshman just yet.
The 23-year-old, who stated his admiration for his opponent before and after the bout, outworked and broke his counterpart down to force a retirement after the seventh session.
Shortly after, a teary veteran told Sky Sports he “didn’t have it any more” and subsequently announced his retirement from professional boxing.
Munroe leaves boxing with his dignity intact and his head held firmly high. Too many boxers fight on past their sell-by date, exchanging what is left of their diminished physique in favour of financial reward. Such was the emotion behind the Boxing Binman’s announcement it seems impossible he will ever return.
He has no obligation to either, having served British boxing nobly on the European stage, while also beating the likes of current super bantamweight champion Kiko Martinez and Victor Terrazas.
He came up short in his only world title shot, but travelled into Toshiaki Nishioka’s home country of Japan – how many fighters right now would do that?
Well done to Rendall Munroe on a fantastic career and all the best in retirement.
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