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26th Oct 2018

Tyson Fury ought to be applauded for the most honest interview of his career

Fury discussed the depths of his depression in a wide-ranging interview with Joe Rogan

Darragh Murphy

Tyson Fury has spoken at length about his history of mental health issues in the most honest and important interview he’s ever given.

Fury appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience on Thursday and opened up on the depths of his depression; discussing his previous suicidal thoughts, alcoholism and drug addiction.

The undefeated Brit’s remarkable comeback will culminate on December 1, when he will get the opportunity to fight for the only world title to elude him during his initial rise through the heavyweight ranks.

In just five weeks, ‘The Gypsy King’ will share the ring with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Fury’s journey back from the brink is an inspiration for anyone who struggles with mental health problems.

Fury has explained how the inevitable low which followed his 2015 win over Wladimir Klitschko – the biggest fight of his career to date – left him feeling “ready to die”.

“It wasn’t until after the Klitschko fight — a very massive high — that I had to avert to an even worse low. The lowest low that anyone could ever have,” he said.

“I’d wake up and think, ‘Why did I wake up this morning?’ And this is coming from a man who won everything. Money, fame, glory, titles, a wife, family and kids — everything.

“But I felt as if I had nothing, a gaping hole that was just filled with gloom and doom.”

Having never touched drugs before the age of 27, the status of being the baddest man on the planet forced Fury into a downward spiral of substance abuse which only served to make things go from “bad to worse.”

He explained: “I hit the drugs. I was out with women of the night and not coming home. I didn’t care about boxing or living, I just wanted to die.

“But I was going to have a good time doing it.

“The worst thing someone suffering with their mental health [can do] is get into drugs and alcohol.”

The cancellation of his scheduled rematch with Klitschko exacerbated matters further and it was in the summer of 2016 that Fury almost took his own life.

“I was making everyone’s life a misery, no-one could talk any sense into me at all,” Fury said.

“I would 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 190mp/h 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 onto 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 remains a divisive figure in boxing but he ought to be lauded for the openness with which he is now discussing his struggles with mental health as he is encouraging others to speak up about their problems.

Like all sufferers should do, Fury got help. And his comeback journey has been a source of motivation for many.

“I sought help from a psychiatrist and she told me dad I was an imminent death [risk],” Fury said.

“I was out at Halloween in 2017 dressed as a skeleton but I was 29 and everyone was younger and I thought, ‘is this what I want from my life?’

“No matter how many people told me before that I needed to change my life, I didn’t know it.

“I left early and went home into a dark room, took the skeleton suit off and I prayed to God to help me. I’d never begged to God to help me. I could feel tears running down my face.

“I almost accepted that being an alcoholic was my fate but after praying for 10 minutes, I got up I felt the weight was lifted off my shoulders. For the first time in my life I thought I was going to be OK. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own.”