Audley Harrison has officially announced his retirement from boxing just days after suffering another disappointing first round defeat at the hands of undefeated American Deontay Wilder.

The 41-year-old was picked out as a future star of the heavyweight division after winning gold at the Sydney Olympics back in 2000 but always struggled to find his feet after joining the professional ranks.

Audley Harrison
Audley Harrison was picked for success after winning gold at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. [Reuters]

Harrison would go on to win his opening 19 pro fights before suffering his first defeat at the hands of fellow Londoner Danny Williams who won the vacant Commonwealth heavyweight title on a split decision.

It was a shattering loss for Harrison who was defeated in his very next fight by relative unknown Dominick Guinn, before once again falling short while challenging for a title when he was stopped in the third round by Michael Sprott who claimed the European and English belts.

Harrison would have success in the short format of Prizefighter as he twice won the popular series but his time will ultimately be remembered for his poor performances against David Haye, David Price and Wilder.

The former amateur star lasted less than 90 seconds against the big hitting American and has now decided that it is the right time to walk away from the sport.

"There are only so many times you can fall before it becomes foolhardy to continue. I've fallen a lot, but winning the heavyweight title was a destination I really wanted to get to. Coming back from adversity has been synonymous with my life," read a statement on Harrison's website.

"I've done well to turn my life around, but sadly my dream to be a legitimate world champion will be unrealised.

"I believed if I was mentally and physically right, I could figure these young guns out. Saturday was my final chance to prove it. The thing that pulled me up was pride, so I wanted a chance to continue and go out on my shield. It was not to be.

"The rematch win over Danny Williams, avenging my loss to Michael Sprott to win the European title with a torn pec, plus winning the WBF title at Wembley Arena with Lennox Lewis in attendance were proud moments. I was also elated to win Prizefighter for the second time, putting in three good performances.

"I'd like to thank the trainers, support staff and medical professionals I've worked with over the years. You have helped me greatly in the gyms, boardrooms and operating tables over the years, and I'm grateful to you all."

Harrison leaves the sport with a record of 31 wins and seven losses in his 12-year career as a professional prize fighter.