Tyson Fury has admitted that during his darkest days he had “given up hope to breathe”, as he struggled with suicidal thoughts.
The reigning heavyweight champion, won his first title in 2015, upsetting Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf.
But after climbing the boxing mountain, the ‘Gypsy King’ suffered a mental breakdown which culminated in him attempting suicide.
“It got pretty bad,” he told ITV’s This Morning. “I didn’t want to live anymore, that was the feeling for quite a number of years.
“I attempted suicide. I attempted to drink myself to death. Every day was a terrible day for me and I just didn’t want to live.
“I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, because if you can put your finger on what it was, you’d just stop doing that thing and then you think you’re better.
“With mental health, it’s not a disability you can actually see. It was pretty dark days, when you give up hope to breathe and don’t want to live anymore, that’s as dark as it can possibly be, without ending it.”
Since his well publicised fall from grace, Fury has learned to control his demons and has once again got to the pinnacle of the sport, becoming a two-time heavyweight champion of the world earlier this year.
The 32-year-old has now become a public advocate on the importance of preserving one’s mental health and has often dedicated his performances to those currently suffering.
In December 2018, following the controversial draw with Deontay Wilder, Fury sent an emotional message to anyone struggling.
He said: “I am not a special human being. I am a normal man. I wasn't just down for me and my family; I was representing people with mental health problems around the world.
“I had to continue and carry on.”
The WBC champion is set to return to the ring next month, when he takes on Fury on Agit Kabayel at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
However, with England currently in lockdown, the head of the sport in Britain, has warned the fights could be at risk.
“The biggest problem we could have is the availability of doctors and that does vary in different areas,” Robert Smith, general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, told BoxingScene.
“At the moment, I haven’t had any doctors pull out, but it is very early days.
“We are doing our best to cover everything we can, but if there comes a point, as there did at the beginning of the pandemic in March, where we cannot get the medical cover for the shows, we will have to do the same again.”