Barry McGuigan calls for boxing to help fighters with mental health problems

Barry McGuigan (left) and professional boxer, Tyson Fury.
Barry McGuigan (left) and professional boxer, Tyson Fury.

Former Irish professional boxer, Barry McGuigan, has called for authorities within the sport to help fighters battling mental illness by paying for a mental health fund.

McGuigan, who manages Belfast born boxing champion, Carl Frampton, made the comments after it came to light that world heavy weight champion, Tyson Fury is suffering with mental health problems.

“It should happen sooner rather than later because we don’t want a fatality on our hands,” McGuigan told BBC Radio 5 Live.

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

“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.”

McGuigan accused the sport of being “blind” to fighters suffering with mental health problems and expressed “genuine concern” about Fury.

Twenty eight year-old Fury admitted to an American magazine that he had used cocaine to deal with depression and on Monday he announced his retirement on Twitter only for it to be retracted soon after.