Peter Flanagan is one of boxing’s true heroes. The former Mancunian welterweight is currently battling dementia pugilistica after being diagnosed with the disease recently.
His battle with the illness is far greater than any challenge from his boxing days but incredibly, the inspirational 60-year-old remains high in spirits.
Flanagan revealed he will be hosting many fundraising events with his daughter and campaigner Tina. All donations made will contribute towards the Alzheimer’s society commencing July 14. There are a selection of fantastic prizes on offer, including gifts from a boxing legend.
“The fundraiser will include prizes such as merchandise from my friend Ricky Hatton and a signed football from Tottenham Hotspur. It’s going to be a fun night which will raise awareness to problems that need to be addressed and supported,” Flanagan exclusively told World Boxing News.
“The money that the boxing boards put into it can go a long way. I was watching a documentary about dementia before I had been diagnosed with it and it shows the amount of things they could do if money is put into it.
“They take stem cells from the bottom of the spine and implant those cells into the brain and by doing so, it gives the brain new cells.
“This sort of funding certainly makes a difference and it’d be great if there was more awareness for it.”
Eddie Hearn is leading the way after becoming the first boxing promoter to dip into his pockets for the worthy cause.
Lancashire’s Flanagan admitted there are times when he can become frustrated as the illness has forced him to surrender his driving licence in the process.
He said: “It can be tough, it effects my concentration, I virtually have zero concentration and can get confused easily. I sometimes may have a word I want to say that can fit perfectly to a sentence but struggle to say it and can take me around six words before I saying the word I want.”
Despite his struggles, Flanagan has tasked himself with the audacious attempt of trekking through the Great Wall of China.
“I am always doing a bit of training, even more so now as I am doing a trek in China. I use a punch bag and have started training for the trek by going out running twice a week. We also go on long walks as well.
“Before going out to China, I want to be able to speak some of the language. I have been practising down at my local chippy with the owner Lee. Words get read out from the computer and I pronounce them.
“I’m picking it up quite well and Lee was impressed with the how much Mandarin language I have learnt,” he concluded.
The Flanagan’s have a donation page with the target reach of £7,000. To sponsor the family and all sufferers across to UK, to contribute, visit the link below:
To keep updated with his every move, follow his live blog by clicking here
Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95