By Dave Spencer
After compiling a 27-3 career record in an eleven year career, former Olympian and world champion Adrian “The Shark” Diaconu has announced his retirement and is ready to hang up the gloves. Diaconu won the WBC light-heavyweight belt in 2008 in his native Romania on an emotionally charged night against an undefeated Chris Henry in front of the Country’s President at ringside and an ailing father in hospital. Diaconu would eventually lose his world title to fellow Montrealer Jean Pascal; the first time a world championship between two Canadians was ever contested on Canadian soil.
Typically stoic on the outside, Diaconu was always a pleasure to talk to and would serve as the ying to Jean Pascal’s flamboyant yang. “I don’t want to talk about boxing, I want to do boxing,” Diaconu once told FightNews. “I want to show people real boxing and real quality boxing. It’s not my style to talk, for me, talk is cheap. I want things to happen, not to talk about it.”
As world champion, Diaconu was finally able to step out from fellow Romanian and world champions Leonard Dorin and Lucian Bute shadows. In fact Diaconu’s 12 round war with Henry was the most nervous Lucian Bute has ever been seen around a boxing ring. “When I’m in the ring, everything is in my control, here all I could do was watch,” a tuxedo-clad Bute told FightNews at the time.
Pascal and current world champion Chad Dawson were the only people to defeat Diaconu inside the ring. Blessed with ferocious power, Diaconu was the only fighter to put iron-chinned South African Andre Thysse to the canvas, “I think he knocked me into the third round,” Thysse told FightNews at the time of the first round knockdown.
An avid fisherman, FightNews wishes The Shark all the best in his retirement.