Nottingham boxer Nicky Booth had well-documented problems in his life, but hearing of his untimely death at 40 years of age is a sobering thought.
The former British and Commonwealth bantamweight champion was announced as deceased on Wednesday, ending a battle that lasted for most of his adult life.
Booth suffered from addictions. They ran alongside a career inside the ropes that promised much more than it ultimately delivered.
Alongside older brother Jason, the pair starred in front of the Sky Sports cameras on many occasions as the British public endeared themselves to the young fighters back in the early 2000s.
Nicky’s time trading blows was far too short, though. He struggled privately with building the foundations needed to survive outside of boxing.
As the UK community reel from this shocking passing, Booth’s legacy hopefully will be more eyes on those who have extended problems when their time in the spotlight comes to an end.
Former world champion and pundit Barry Jones was the first to extend his arm out to any boxers who need any help whatsoever.
After hearing the sad news of the passing of Nicky Booth. It made me think about how hard it is once you retire.
So if any ex fighters are still struggling to come to terms with life without boxing, please DM me, I’ve been there or near that dark place also. A chat can only help
— Barry Jones (@BarryJonesBox) January 13, 2021
“After hearing the sad news of the passing of Nicky Booth. It made me think about how hard it is once you retire,” said Jones.
“So if any ex-fighters are still struggling to come to terms with life without boxing, please DM me. I’ve been there or near that dark place also. A chat can only help.”
A flood of tributes to Booth, who was part of a thriving young scene on British shores that included Ricky Hatton, Ryan Rhodes, and Prince Naseem Hamed at the time, have since been pouring in for a man who was an instantly likable and cheeky personality.
Ed Robinson of Sky Sports fame stated: “Poor Nicky Booth. He made boxing look easy, If only he’d found life as simple. What a talent. What a character. RIP champ.”
Ex-European champion Spencer Oliver added: “Just heard the sad news that former British and Commonwealth Champion Nicky Booth has passed away.
“Nicky was a great little Boxer. RIP Champ.”
Finally, a former fighter, now promoter, and manager Barry McGuigan offered his condolences.
“So sad to hear of the passing of former British and Commonwealth Bantamweight Champion Nicky Booth. RIP.
“Deepest sympathies to his brother Jason and his family.”
The British Boxing Board of Control sent out a statement on Thursday morning. It read: “The Stewards and staff of the British Boxing Board of Control are very saddened to hear of the passing of former British and Commonwealth Bantamweight Champion Nicky Booth.
“Our sincerest condolences are sent to his family at this time.”
Not only was Booth a gravitating force, ‘1 Smooth’ possessed boxing skills that promised far more than he could ultimately fulfill.
WBN would like to offer our condolences to the Booth family at this sad time.