Liverpool’s 35-year-old, three-times world title challenger, former British and Commonwealth champion and WBA International champion has officially hung up his gloves.
Smith last boxed in June 2017, when he was outpointed by Tyron Zeuge in Germany in his third world title tilt, and he used his Instagram recently to announce: “Today marks a year since my last fight, so now is a good a time as any to announce my retirement from fighting.
“I ruptured a ligament in my right-hand to add to it, needing an operation, the fifth in my career.
“The hand took a long time to get back to strength but my mind was made up after the fight.
“I talked with my wife and brothers and the decision, although tough to say out loud, wasn’t tough to make. I’m healthy and happy.”
But as the elder statesman of the unprecedented Smith family, Smigga also brought happiness to many, many fight fans during a crowd-pleasing career.
As an amateur he won a national ABA title and silver medals for his country at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and the Copenhagen Cup.
Then as a professional he strung together 23 straight victories, all the time promoting autism awareness along with brothers Stephen, Liam and Callum.
After suffering his first defeat to Steven Bendall for the English middleweight title he moved up to the 12-stone division and there enjoyed his greatest nights as a professional.
His British title showdowns against local rivals Tony Quigley and Tony Dodson were ring classics – both victorious – while Smith’s demeanour afterwards was equally classy, making peace with Dodson in the dressing room after a spiky build-up to the fight and delivering a personal message to Dodson’s young son as to why he should be proud of his father.
Smith’s natural charm and ability to communicate articulately meant he was a natural to step in front of the TV cameras as an insightful analyst.
All the time he continued to box at the highest level, three times challenging for the world title – each time on foreign soil against a home fighter and stepping in against pound for pound all time great Andre Ward in the USA.
With younger brother Callum campaigning in the same super-middleweight division, Paul will now hand over the baton.
Always an exceptional ambassador for his sport, The Real Gone Kid has gone from a boxing ring for good.
Happy retirement Smigga!