Former featherweight title challenger Patrick Hyland retires

Former featherweight world title challenger Patrick Hyland announced his retirement from boxing on Saturday, the 12th anniversary of his Sept. 24, 2004, professional debut.

"After 24 years in boxing and 12 years to the day that I made my professional debut the time seems right to announce my retirement from the sport I've loved my whole life," Hyland said in a statement. "There are so many people who have helped me on my journey, first and foremost of course is my dad. I owe everything to him. From Day 1 he showed me everything I know and the last year has been so hard without him since he passed."

Hyland's father, Patrick "Paddy" Hyland Sr., committed suicide in June 2015.

Hyland (31-3, 15 KOs), 33, of Ireland, began his career 27-0 before losing a unanimous decision to Javier Fortuna in an interim featherweight title bout on the Juan Manuel Marquez-Manny Pacquiao IV undercard in December 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Hyland, a former Irish featherweight national champion, won his next four fights in a row but finished his career having lost his final two bouts, a second-round knockout challenging featherweight world titleholder Gary Russell Jr. on April 16 in Mashantucket, Connecticut, followed by a ninth-round knockout to Josh Warrington in Leeds, England, on July 30.

"Fighting a guy who I believe to be a future Hall of Famer in Gary Russell for the world title and another world class talent in Josh Warrington would have been difficult at any time, but without my dad in my corner those tasks were made even harder," Hyland's statement read. "However, I can retire with the knowledge that I tested myself against some of the very best in the sport on the biggest stages.

"Challenging Javier Fortuna for the [interim] world title on a massive card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and headlining a card at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York are the stuff most dreams but I got to live it and I enjoyed every minute of it."

Hyland thanked the various people who were involved in his career as well as his family and said he would miss the sport -- except for one thing.

"Of course, I will miss being a boxer and especially the buzz of fight night and stepping through those ropes but the 6 a.m. runs on freezing, dark mornings in the middle of the winter ... not so much!"