Just a few days after losing to Delvin Rodriguez in a unanimous decision, middleweight Pawel Wolak announced his retirement exclusively via social media.
The 5'9" "Raging Bull" out of Poland retires at the age of 30 with a record of 29 wins, 2 losses and a draw. Nineteen of those wins came by KO.
On Facebook, Wolak said that he is at peace with his decision to retire, and that he "left it all in the ring."
Wolak also used Twitter to break the news to his fans:
with heavy heart I announce my retirement . u need heart, passion, desire 2 compete, but the mind needs 2 know when it is time. FB has more
I am truly humbled by the outpouring of kind words and well wishes. Thank u so much. It was my honor to entertain u.
Wolak's social media retirement shows just how instantaneous and real-time services like Twitter and Facebook can be. According to ESPN's NYFightBlog, Wolak's manager Cameron Dunkin (who Wolak's Facebook post mentions as the desired recipient of all inquiries) had no idea about the decision. Apparently, he learned about it the same way everyone else did - Twitter and Facebook. Same goes for Wolak's sponsor, Top Rank.
We all know that social media can be full of landmines for athletes that have a tendency to fly off the handle - but as more professional athletes embrace Twitter and Facebook, will this become a trend? Will big announcements taking place on Twitter instead of via press conference become the norm?
Earlier this year, NBA great Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement from the NBA via Twitter.
Here's a pretty popular YouTube video of Pawel Wolak vs. Delvin Rodriguez, match one. You can see the heart in Wolak as he refused to throw in the towel, although you can clearly see he has every reason to.