By Liam Hartery

THE highly talented Barry boxer Andrew Selby has announced his retirement from the ring at the age of 31.

Regarded by many as the best amateur boxer Wales has ever produced, he announced his decision to walk away from the sport on Facebook.

He wrote: "Just to let everyone know I've given up the boxing game.. thank you for the fans..sponsors."

Selby won a silver medal at the 2011 World Championships, bronze at the 2013 World Championships and gold at the 2011 and 2013 European Championships, all in the flyweight division.

His amateur highlights also included entry into the 2012 London Olympics and the 2014 Commonwealth Games, although he was eliminated early from both tournaments.

In just 14 professional fights, Selby won the prestigious British title, IBF Inter-Continental title and the WBC International title.

If these achievements weren’t enough, he also showcased his potential against three fighters who went on to become world champions, defeating two of them.

Selby’s first and only career defeat came at the hands of Julio Cesar Martinez in Mexico.

The boxer, brother to former world champ Lee, suffered devastating news in 2017 following the loss of his mother Frankie.

He told BBC Sport: "After the Olympics I turned professional and was winning titles, but then in 2017 out of nowhere my mother passed away.

“It was a sudden death and unexpected, and that’s what really broke me. It was the worst point in my life. She was my best friend and I could tell her anything. She’d always say I would be a world champion.

“When my mum passed away the first thing I did was pick up a bottle and drank and drank. I hid myself away and didn’t want to speak to anyone. I self-harmed and did a lot of things I’m not proud of.

“I went to counselling and the feeling of opening up is a relief. The pain is always there but it makes you happier that someone understands you.

"When I lost my mother I didn’t see a future, but now I’m grateful for going and speaking to people.

“If you’re grieving or going through depression or anything, speak to people. Don’t hold it inside, seek him.”

After splitting with long-time trainer Tony Borg, Selby joined forces with Maesteg-based professional bareknuckle fighter and boxing coach Daniel Chapman and he seemed to show glimmers of his previous form.

However, his 14th and last professional fight convinced some, perhaps including himself, that his best days were indeed behind him.

Selby secured a razor thin points victory over Tanzanian Fadhili Majiha in Newcastle last September.