Share

Tyson Fury: Barry McGuigan calls for new mental health fund for boxers

Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury shocked Wladimir Klitschko last November to become world heavyweight champion

Boxing authorities should fund a new foundation to help fighters with mental health issues, says Barry McGuigan.

The former world featherweight champion, 55, wants the new body to pay for treatment where needed.

World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has revealed he is suffering from depression and has taken cocaine to help him deal with the issue.

“It should happen sooner rather than later because we don’t want a fatality on our hands,” said McGuigan.

He told BBC Radio 5 live the sport has “been blind” to elite athletes suffering mental illness, adding he is “genuinely concerned” about Fury.

The unbeaten Briton faces losing his licence after admitting to Rolling Stone magazine he has taken cocaine.

Fury reportedly pulled out of his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko on 29 October because of mental health issues.

On Monday, he tweeted to say boxing was the “saddest thing” he had taken part in and suggested he was retiring from the sport, before retracting his decision a few hours later.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Tyson Fury’s turbulent 12 months

Middleweight Billy Joe Saunders, a close friend of Fury’s, said Fury is in “a bad place”, while WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew said “Fury is not well and he needs help”.

IBF president Daryl Peoples added that the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) should strip Fury of his licence “so he could focus on getting himself better”.

McGuigan, who criticised Fury in May for making homophobic, sexist and anti-Semitic comments in a video, said he would be “happy to help in whatever way” including heading a mental health clinic for boxers.

“The health of the boxers is really important to me. There is no help available to boxers for depression and mental health issues which is something I really want to concentrate on,” he said.

“There are many different forms of illnesses but there is no support unless you seek it. There is definitely a need for it.

“There are colossal sums in some of the fights and there is plenty of money available of which some should be set aside for mental health issues. We definitely need to address it.

“Maybe it is time for all the sporting governing bodies to sit down and start thinking about a clinic of some kind which is available. We need to do it for a cheap rate for guys who don’t earn a fortune.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/boxing/37570429