Former Irish champion Tyson Fury hopes to inspire people suffering with mental health issues

Tyson Fury's amazing weight loss

Former Irish heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has spoken about his long road back to fitness after suffering mental health problems and ballooning up to nearly 29 stone.

He wants to inspire people going through similar problems and says that if he can overcome his demons then anyone can.

He 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.”

Tyson Fury's amazing weight loss

Fury had the world at his feet after he became the lineal heavyweight world champion with a win against Ukrainian legend Wladimir Klitschko.

As well as lineal champion status, Fury also picked up the respected belts of the WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine.

However, he was stripped of his titles one by one as he struggled to keep up with mandatory obligations and descended into drink, drugs and depression.

There were times when he felt suicidal. He told the Joe Rogan podcast: “I was waking up and I didn’t want to be alive, I was making everybody’s life a misery, everybody who was close to me I was pushing away.

“Nobody could talk any sense into me at all and I’d go very, very, very low at times, very low. And I’d start thinking all these crazy thoughts.

“I bought a brand new Ferrari convertible in the Summer of 2016, and I was in it and I was on this strip of the highway where I am.

“At the bottom of about a five-mile strip there’s a massive bridge that crosses the motorway. I got the car up to about 190mph and I was headed towards that bridge.

“I didn’t care what no-one was thinking, I didn’t care about hurting my family, friends, anybody. I didn’t care about nothing, I just wanted to die so bad, I gave up on life.

“And just as I was heading towards that bridge at 190mph in this Ferrari – it would have crushed like a Coke can if I’d have hit it – I heard a voice saying: ‘No, don’t do this Tyson…

“‘Think about your kids, think about your family and your little boys and girls growing up with no father and everyone saying your dad was a weak man, he left you and he took the easy way out because he couldn’t do anything about it.’

“Before I turned into the bridge I pulled onto the motorway and I was shaking. I pulled over and I was all nervous and I didn’t know what to do and I was so afraid.

“And I thought that I’ll never ever try or think about taking my life ever again.”

Fury says he fell out of love with boxing, but he started training again and gradually started to think about coming out of retirement.

His hard-partying lifestyle had left him with a huge amount of weight to shift in order to be ready to return to the ring.

During Fury’s absence from the sport, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder established themselves as the new stars of the heavyweight division.

Over the course of a year Fury shed an incredible ten stone and had two comeback fights during the summer.

He completed his magnificent comeback over the weekend when he took on ferocious knockout artist Wilder for the WBC world title.

It was a fight that will likely be remembered for decades to come as Fury surprised many by outboxing Wilder for the majority of the fight.

He then left the crowd stunned in the 12th round when a colossal punch from Wilder sent him to the canvas.

It seemed certain that the fight was over but Fury incredibly beat the count and got back to his feet to see out the fight.

Fury was denied his fairytale ending when the judges scored the fight a draw. However, he was back amongst the elite of the division and most spectators and former pros believed he won the fight.

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder fight ends in a draw

His real victory was simply getting back to the level he had reached before his world came crashing down.

Fury told Fight Hype: “I showed the world tonight – everyone suffering from mental heath, you can come back.

Everybody out there who has the same problem that I’ve been suffering with, I did that for you guys.

“Everybody knowns I won that fight, and if I can come back from where I’ve come from then you can do it too.”

After years of controversy, Fury is now on a mission to help people as much as he can. He earned around $10m for his fight against Wilder and has vowed to give it all to the poor and homeless.

He said: “I’m going to give it to the poor and I’m going to build homes for the homeless.

“I don’t really have much use for it, I’m not interested in becoming a millionaire or a billionaire. I’m a boxer not a businessman and I’ll probably go down the same route as every other boxer – skint at the end of it all.

“You can’t take it with you, so I might as well do something with it and help out people who can’t help themselves.”

As well as Fury’s numerous world titles, he was has also been crowned champion of England, Ireland, Britain, the Commonwealth and Europe during his rise to stardom.

The only thing missing was the WBC title, which is still held by Wilder after the fight ended in a draw.

Take a look at Fury discussing mental health at the post fight press conference in the video below – warning it contains strong language.

Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling