With nothing left to fight for, Martin Murray has opted to call it a career.

The five-time title challenger from St. Helen's England announced his retirement from boxing on Wednesday following more than 13-years in the pro ranks. The journey was spent as a longtime mid-level contender—and having arguably been twice denied the right to be declared a middleweight titlist—but comes after falling well short in a Dec. 4 points loss to unbeaten 168-pound title claimant Billy Joe Saunders.

"After having a talk with Gem (Murray's wife Gemma), my family and close friends I’ve decided to hang my gloves up and call it a day," Murray announced on Wednesday. "It wasn’t the fairytale ending that I’d dreamed of but I’d like to think that I retire with a bit of respect and my health, which is the most important thing."

Murray (39-6-1, 17KOs) turned pro in 2007, surging through the domestic level to arrive on the title stage just four years into his career. His first swing at a major belt ended in controversy, as he fought Felix Sturm to a widely-disputed 12-round draw in their December 2011 title fight in Mannheim, Germany. 

The bout was one of four occasions where the Brit was forced to hit the road in search of putting a major title around his waist. Murray traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina for an April 2013 showdown with then-lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, whom he dropped in the 8th round but faded down the stretch in a 12-round unanimous decision which many still felt should have went his way. 

Four wins followed including an Oct. 2014 technical decision win over Domenico Spada in Monte Carlo, where he would return four months later for his third title challenge and his most lopsided loss. Murray took on then-unbeaten middleweight titlist Gennadiy Golovkin, gaining only a moral victory in extending the Kazakhstani knockour artist deeper than he'd ever been in his career—only to suffer a one-sided 11th round stoppage loss.

A move to super middleweight came soon thereafter, where Murray won three in a row before falling just short to Arthur Abraham in their Nov. 2015 title fight in Hannover, Germany. 

Murray won seven of his next nine starts, though failing to push past gatekeeper status by that point as evidenced in losses to countryman George Groves and Cameroon's Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam. One last swing at a major title came earlier this month, with Murray fitting the bill as a regionally-based super middleweight contender for Saunders which made it easier during pandemic-stricken times where travel restrictions make it difficult to otherwise move forward in the sport. 

Saunders claimed a well-earned lopsided decision, leaving Murray with a choice to make as to how much further he would embark as a pro boxer. 

“Now the dust has settled after my fight I’d just like to say a few things," notes Murray. "I’d like to start by saying well done to Billy Joe Saunders and his team. He’s a world class talent and the better boxer won on the night – and I sincerely wish him all the best in future. I want to say a big thanks to my wife Gemma, our three children and our family and friends for their love and support. To Jamie Moore, Nigel Travis, MTK Global and Andrew Mikhail for all of their hard work – and to the legendary Oliver Harrison for everything he did for me over the years."

That choice has now been made, prideful of what he has managed to accomplish in a 13-year run which includes domestic and regional title wins. 

“When I turned professional I wanted to hang them up without any regrets and taking all opportunities that were put my way and I did just that," insists Murray. "I went around the world and fought the best – and pushed them all the way too so I’m happy and proud of what I achieved.

“I also wanted to be able to say that all the hard work and sacrifices have been worth it and they have. I’m now looking forward to the next chapter of my life and spending it with my beautiful wife Gemma, our three beautiful children Archie, Amelia and Aisla – and our amazing family and friends. Over the years I’ve met some amazing people and our friendships have gone beyond boxing so I finish my career in a far better position then when I started it. I’m happy that my career is over now but definitely going to stay in the game in some way and will look into maybe starting my own stable of fighters in the future.

“Before I finish off I’d just like to say that boxing has took me to places and given me experiences that I could of only dreamed of. I hope that I’m an example of what you can achieve with hard work and proof that you can always turn your life around if you truly want to. Lastly, to everyone who has ever helped or supported me throughout my career and to the sport of boxing. It’s been some journey.”