Pickering: Haye could find initial transition after retirement difficult

FORMER Olympic swimmer Karen Pickering has predicted that David Haye could find the initial shock of retiring from boxing difficult.

Pickering made her international debut in 1985 and was a member of the GB squad until 2005, picking up four Commonwealth gold medals along the way.

Since leaving the pool, she has been awarded an MBE, become a respected broadcaster and columnist and seen her swim schools go from strength to strength.

However, the 39-year-old has admitted to struggling to adapt initially following her retirement but said phasing out her time in the pool gradually, helped.

“It is so difficult to step away from your chosen sport as it almost provides safety and comfort as you know that you work to a routine during training and are always striving towards a goal,” said Pickering.

“I am sure there will be plenty of other opportunities for him out there but trying to make his mark at something else, when in boxing he will have no doubt have been a perfectionist like most competitors, is difficult.

“I struggled when I made the decision to finish swimming although I retired gradually and wound down for a year and let other opportunities take me away from the pool rather than fitting other jobs around swimming.

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“I went to the World Championship qualifiers towards the end of that season and, knowing I was winding down, I knew I would not be making the required times. I decided to see how disappointed I would be if I did not qualify and how desperate I was for swimming.

“If I found that I was not ready to quit, I would maybe have been able to train for another Commonwealth Games but I did not feel that desperation.”