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Tyson Fury comeback to aid mental health awareness?

Monday 3rd December 2018
Boxer Tyson Fury has helped highlight mental health issues after his world title fight with Deontay Wilder.
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Boxer Tyson Fury has sought to encourage people with mental health problems after his sensational draw in a world championship fight against American Deontay Wilder.

It was only Fury's third appearance back in the ring after he had spent two years out with depression and anxiety, compounded by a drug problem and major weight gain.

Fury drew admiration from all quarters for an outstanding display, as well as his mental fortitude in climbing off the canvas after twice being floored with huge punches from a man who had won 39 of his previous 40 fights by knockout. Most experts - though not the judges - thought Fury had won the fight.

Speaking in his post-fight press conference, Fury said: "I fought back from thinking about suicide, mental health, depression, anxiety. I wanted more than anything to show the world it can be done." 

He emphasised that it was his determination to fight on behalf of those who had battled mental health problems that enabled him to climb off the canvas when he had appeared out for the count. 

In another interview, he looked straight into the camera and, directly addressing those with mental health issues, said "I did it for you."

While the boxing world now expects the two fighters to meet again in a rematch, Fury's words may help encourage those who have mental health issues to seek help in the belief that they can make their own comebacks from being in very difficult places. 

The profile of mental health issues has been raised significantly in recent years, not least as many public figures - including a number of sporting stars - have been willing to speak out.

Among the recent public revelations were those of former Manchester United and England footballer Michael Carrick, who described how he slipped into depression following the Champions League final defeat against Barcelona in 2009.

This began a two-year mental health battle that he described in his autobiography Between the Lines.

Written by Angela Newbury

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