Tyson Fury’s Battle With Mental Health Shows Why Nobody Should Ever Lose Hope
Tyson Fury has reiterated the importance to stay on top of his battle with mental health ahead of his showdown with Otto Wallin on Saturday.
The 'Gypsy King' climbed to the top of the boxing world when he defied the odds and secured a stunning upset over then-world champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.
But the 31-year-old Brit superstar's life took a downward spiral after he admitted that he had "no motivation" to fight Klitschko again in a rematch.
Fury had to relinquish the world titles that he had fought so hard to capture and started a long, turbulent battle with mental health, drug abuse and alcohol-related issues.
The former unified champ, who returned to boxing in 2018 after a three-year hiatus, told BBC Radio 5 Live Boxing's Steve Bunce (via BBC Sport) how important it was to now manage his mental state.
He explained: "Training makes me happy.
"I had almost three years of being unhappy, as low as any man can go. I know it was the training I wasn't doing that gave me a void. Training gives me a purpose. If I wasn't getting paid millions, I'd train for free.
"When I'm not in training camp I am training twice a day now anyway -- it has become a lifestyle, a habit. When you have had that habit all your life, when you don't do it for a long time you feel severely down, I never want to go back there.
"Now I am happy. Nothing will bring me down ever again. I used to worry about stuff years ago. Now I will never worry about things I have no control of.
"If I end up in a tent in a field, flat-out broke, I will still look back on my life thinking I lived a beautiful life, did what I wanted to do and ended up happy."
Fury, who ballooned to a shocking 28st during his time out of boxing, opened up about his battle with mental health last year and admitted that he came close to commiting suicide.
He told the Joe Rogan Experience at the time: "I would get very, very low at times and start thinking these crazy thoughts. I bought a brand-new Ferrari convertible in the summer of 2016.
"I was in it on the highway and at the bottom, I got the car up to 190mph and heading towards a bridge.
"I didn't care about nothing: I just wanted to die so bad. I gave up on life, but as I was heading to the bridge, I heard a voice saying, 'No, don't do this, Tyson; think about your kids, your family, your sons and daughter growing up without a dad.'
"Before I turned into the bridge, I pulled on to the motorway. I didn't know what to do: I was shaking, I was so afraid.
"I said I'd never think about taking my own life again."
Fury's boxing comeback has been nothing short of remarkable.
The 'Gypsy King' easily swept aside Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta in two comeback fights before setting his sight at the top of the heavyweight division.
The Brit shed pound after pound to prove to the world -- and himself -- that he could beat Deontay Wilder and strip him of the WBC championship.
Fury wowed the world with his inspirational comeback story and put on a dazzling performance, which included an extraordinary moment when he survived a brutal 12th-round knockdown by Wilder.
The 'Gypsy King' walked away from the fight with a draw -- and many fans felt he was cheated out of a well-deserved victory -- but Fury has continued to inspire others with his battle against mental health.
While he might not hold any of the major belts in the heavyweight division, Fury's comeback showed how far he really came when Ring Magazine named him the number one heavyweight in the world back in June.
Fury recently showed his burning hunger to dominate the boxing world when he said that he is targeting a unification bout in 2020, which would further cement his incredible legacy in the sport.
The heavyweight star is the first to admit that his mental issues are not fully behind him, saying that he compares the battle to the song 'Hotel California' from the Eagles.
He told Reuters last month: "There's a great song the Eagles wrote called 'Hotel California.'
"You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.
"I believe that's mental health because you can get well -- you can check out any time you want -- but you can never leave it because you're born with it."
The comeback story of the 'Gypsy King' is an important reminder on World Suicide Prevention Day why nobody should ever lose hope.
Don't suffer in silence. It's okay not to be okay, and it's also okay to reach out for help when dealing with mental health.
Find support at the following organisations below.
CALM: 0800 585 858 (outside London: 0808 802 5858); Mind: 0300 123 3393; Papyrus: 0800 068 41 41; Samaritans: 116 123.
Featured Image Credit: PA/Tyson Fury