Joe Calzaghe: Boxers retire young and don't think about future

Last Updated: 17/10/13 2:33pm

Former heavyweight world champion Joe Calzaghe was joined by Spencer Oliver and Herol Graham on Ringside to discuss the worrying levels of depression in the boxing world.

Former British and European champion Graham has spoken publicly about his personal demons with depression when he left the sport 25 years ago and the highly-admired Sheffield southpaw admits he even tried to take his own life.

"It was bad in the sense that I cut my wrists," he said. "I didn't know what to do, my life had ended and I cut my wrists. It was a case of 'what do I do now?

"I'm a boxer, I've boxed all my life, at the age of 40, what do I do then?' And there was nothing for me to do, there was no-one talking to me not even medically - or the board of control, no-one spoke to me.

"I got through it by talking to different people. All I could do is talk to people who knew something about it in the boxing state, that's all I could do to rectify it."

Calzaghe is another fighter that has been open with the issues he has faced after retirement from the sport.


'The Pride of Wales' says that continuing to train has been key in keeping him focused, but also encourages his fellow boxers to talk about the problems they have.

"At the end of the day you retire at a young age and I don't think you really think about the future," he said.

"All I ever did is box since I was nine and even though I finished on my own terms at the top, which was great, after 12 months, 16 months I was missing that buzz, that focus in the morning in the training.

"I think it's a good thing to stay in shape and still train, it helps me because it's always in the system and in the blood.

"It's easy to get out-of-shape and just be drinking a lot and eating and putting on weight, but I think it helps me personally to work out and train, go for a couple of a mile run in my sweats and I feel better for it.

"I think boxers need to do what we're doing now and that's talk about it (depression).Talking about it and realising there is an issue in the sport."