MALMESBURY'S very own Joe Hughes has made the decision to retire from boxing following a stellar 25-year career.

Hughes, who has won professional and amateur championships at both national and European level, has not boxed for three and a half years but has finally brought his hugely successful career to an end.

His story is quite remarkable. Hughes has been affected by Erb’s Palsy since birth, which effectively meant he was boxing with only one 100% good arm. 

That makes his achievements in the sport so much more impressive. He went on to become National Amateur Champion and European Professional champion.

Hughes' entire amateur career was spent at Malmesbury ABC, where he says he was 'shaped to be a good person'.

"I spent my whole amateur career boxing for Malmesbury ABC," he said on his Boxing News Online column.

"The coaches there at the time, who put their time into me, were Tony Stannard MBE, Tony Falcone, Graham Hill and Steve Ford.

"The club wasn’t just about producing good boxers and winning titles, it was about shaping you to be a good person and teaching lessons you’d need to know for life.

"I did, however, manage to win a National Schoolboy title, the Junior ABA’s, two NACYP titles, a Four Nations gold medal, a Three Nations gold medal and the Senior ABAs, finishing with a record of 58 from 70 bouts."

Malmesbury ABC said this about him on their Facebook page following the announcement. 

"What he has achieved in the sport is amazing and inspirational. A National Amateur Champion, European Professional champion to name but a few.

"He is still close to the club and the town of Malmesbury and still comes to our gym to meet and help current boxers here on occasion.

"Many of us have travelled across the UK and the European Continent to support him.

"He is an outstanding boxer, an inspiration and one of the nicest people you could wish to meet. A credit to the town and to the sport of boxing.

"We wish him well in his retirement . He will always be welcome at Malmesbury Boxing Club."