KASH FAROOQ has revealed that he took the shock decision to retire from boxing on medical grounds.

It was announced on Thursday that the highly-regarded bantamweight had hung up his gloves at the age of 26 due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.

But now the Glasgow-based Scot has admitted that he heeded the advice of doctors after his yearly medical was deemed unsatisfactory.

Former British champion Farooq had been tipped to challenge for world honours and had been set for a mouth-watering rematch with Lee McGregor after losing his Lonsdale belt to his fellow Scot in November 2019.

In a statement explaining why he had to retire, Farooq said: “Boxing has been my life since I was 14 years old. 

"I have studied, dedicated, sacrificed myself to improve my quality of life and that of my family’s enduring many hardships along the way, from boxing on small hall shows behind closed doors and not being able to sell a ticket to my name, to competing at the pinnacle of boxing, fighting on Sky/DAZN with the biggest promoter in the world.

“My immediate leave comes due to my yearly medicals not being satisfactory for the British Board of Control with stricter regulations in place.

“I had a meeting with a doctor who advised me to take an exit from boxing with my full health intact, regardless if I wanted to carry on fighting and prove myself to be the best in the division.

“It would be selfish of me to put myself in danger. Therefore, my trainer Craig [Dickson] and manager Iain Wilson have instructed me to heed the advice from medical professionals.

"This is still a shock for me, as it would be for many others. I am a young athlete who had plenty to offer with unspeakable potential and talent."

Farooq won 16 of his 17 bouts in professional boxing and claimed the WBC International belt in his last and final outing against Luis Castillo last August.

Farooq will now become St Andrew’s Sporting Club’s head of talent.

He added: “Whilst the decision has been difficult, I look forward to joining the team at St Andrew’s Sporting Club and adjusting to life outside the ring and venturing into new opportunities

“The memories created and opportunities boxing has given me are unforgettable.”