Former two-time British super featherweight champion Gary Sykes has confirmed a stint in rehab following an ongoing battle with depression and alcohol abuse.
The 35-year-old from Dewsbury has suffered since announcing his retirement from the sport in 2016.
Losing to Luke Campbell in a Commonwealth title fight at Sheffield Arena spelled the end of a decade-long career for Sykes.
Like many boxers who hang up their gloves, Sykes has found it difficult. Firstly, Sykes sunk into a deep depression, which he spoke out openly last year.
“The highest point in my boxing career came in 2010 when I won the Lonsdale belt. This was the culmination of many years dedication, training, diet, abstinence, sweat, and pain,” Sykes told batleynews.co.uk last October.
“I would not have traded this for anything in the world. From being an enthusiastic amateur I had stepped up to the professional ranks, where I was paid for doing what I loved. I could not have asked for more.
“I was not the first professional sportsman to suffer from this trauma after retirement and I will not be the last.”
Adding drink-driving into the mix, Sykes was left to contemplate what might have been after an accident.
“The lowest point in my life came after retiring, when my daily routine and structure fell apart, through alcohol, depression and an identity crisis.
“Retirement meant I did not have any goals on which to focus and the lowest point of all was when I was left to sober up having crashed my car drunk.
“I was just so relieved that nobody was hurt.
“I’ve missed out on the joy of seeing my young daughters growing up. I made life hard for the very people who were nearest and dearest to me. I have to live with that fact.”
Sheeet how did it get to this???
Getting ready for a fair few months stint in Rehab.
Sorting this massive problem I’ve had since retiring from boxing.
Let’s see what I can become without alcohol in my life because when I’m back there’s no going back!
Seeya on the other side! pic.twitter.com/zk9iaBZKlR
— Gary Sykes (@GarySykesBoxer) January 20, 2020
Taking to social media to reveal his ongoing pain, Sykes is now hoping to change his life.
“Sheeet how did it get to this???
“Getting ready for a fair few months stint in Rehab. Sorting this massive problem I’ve had since retiring from boxing.
“Let’s see what I can become without alcohol in my life because when I’m back there’s no going back!
“Seeya on the other side!”
WBN would like to wish Gary well.