Tyson Fury has said he has pulled out of fights in the past due to struggles with his mental health.
The WBC heavyweight champion has been open in recent years about his experiences with depression, and this week Fury revealed the extent to which that has impacted his boxing career.
After 22-year-old Ryan Garciawithdrew from a scheduled bout with Javier Fortuna on 9 July – citing a need to focus on his mental health – Fury told The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger that he has been in similar situations.
“Mental health’s a real struggle,” Fury said. “I’ve struggled with it all my life, I know how real it is.
“And you would never expect a man to go into a fight who is suffering from mental health problems.
“I’ve actually pulled out of fights before myself because of mental health issues and I know plenty of fighters who have as well.
“So, it’s a real disease. Just because you can’t see it physically, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It’s so, so real and it’s a silent killer.
“So many people out there at the moment are suffering from mental health struggles, especially within the pandemic.
“I feel sorry for these guys, but you know what, guys: There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. You just need to reach out and grab help, and everything will get better eventually, I promise.”
Fury is set to face fellow heavyweight champion and compatriot Anthony Joshua this year in a much-anticipated title fight.
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