Depression in boxing is an elephant in the room that’s been around for a long time.
Boxers put there lives on the line every time they get into the ring. Their bodies and mental health are put at risk. Professional boxers hide there vulnerabilities and emotions to their opponent and fans watching not only in the ring, but also in there personal lives.
You can never tell what is happening in someone’s mind.
It has been shown in history that most mental health problems can come when a boxer decides to hang up their gloves.
The training winds down, they slowly fade out of the public eye and what they have dedicated there lives to for a significant length of time, comes to a painful end.
This is where depression can slowly creep up on a person without them ever noticing. There have been many famous examples of boxers finding it difficult come to terms with everything coming to a halt.
Ricky Hatton is one of Britain’s greatest boxers that the country ever produced and he has publicly stated his demons with depression.
Herol Graham another great, started self-harming and was sectioned for his own safety at one point. Frank Bruno was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Frank speaking on Good Morning Britain earlier this year on Bipolar Disorder:
These are only a tiny percentage of fighters publicly stating they have depression.
Anyone that has ever dealt with depression knows it is a day to day struggle that is one of the hardest things to deal with.
You can have millions of pounds in the bank, a loving partner and support from family, friends and fans, but it can still seem like nothing will get you out of this low point in your life at times.
A lot has to be done in the world of boxing to improve the awareness and support boxers receive through their careers and when they retire.
Promoters, managers, coaches and boxing organisation bodies have responsibility to their fighters. Some have already tried to raise awareness though.
As I said before, Ricky Hatton has publicly said he suffers from depression and did a documentary where he tried to come back for one last fight.
Even though he lost, he seemed to be fighting a lot of demons but then after the fight was done, could finally accept his career was over.
The fans still love and idolise him and he seems to be focusing on training his stable of fighter and on family life now. We wish him all the best in his future and would like to see he is coming out of the other side of the hard times.
One of the most hard hitting depression related stories in boxing came in 2013, when Dean Powell took his own life.
Dean was one of the most respected figures in boxing, known for working as a trainer, corner man and matchmaker, working with the likes of Frank Bruno, Joe Calzaghe, Amir Khan and many more.
Dean’s death shows again the danger of depression and the support needed for the boxing community as a whole.
There has been a support group set up after Dean Powell’s death to help raise awareness which is available on Twitter @Box_State_mind.
There have been articles, interviews and groups set up for boxers with depression and I advise you to look these up and show your support.
But as I have said before, promoters, managers, coaches and boxing organisation need to more, this is why I decided to write this article.
I have only touched on the issues in this article and will be doing more myself for awareness. Any support shown would be great.
Please get in touch with me @boxingP4Pnews for ideas and to give more information on the problems raised.
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