Tyson Fury says his ongoing battle with depression will always be tougher than anything he’ll face in the ring.
During a well-publicised journey back to the top, Fury shed a staggering ten stone, and he’s never been in better shape ahead of his Las Vegas debut against Tom Schwarz on June 15.
But the Brit insists that while he has a grip on his mental health, the demons will never be truly exorcised.
“The battle I continue to fight with myself on a daily basis is the hardest opponent I’ll ever face in my life,” he told talkSPORT’s Gareth A Davies on Fight Night.
“Reason being, it’s easy to fight a man in front of me with gloves on, or with anything, because I know it’s just a man.
“When you’re battling yourself on a daily basis, it’s the hardest fight anyone could ever battle.
“It’s a struggle I will continue to fight for the rest of my life.
“The Eagles wrote a beautiful song called ‘Hotel California’ and in that song , there’s a verse that says, ‘You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave’.
“And that’s how I liken mental health. You can check out any time you want to get better, but the mistake you make is trying to leave. Because it will never let you leave.
“You must learn to maintain the disease of mental health. It’s a silent killer. You can’t pinpoint who’s got it and who hasn’t.”
The 30-year-old has become a champion for mental health and he promises to continue raising awareness.
Fury suggests that if it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone – and no one should hesitate to seek help if they feel like they need it.
He added: “It’s a terrible thing because so many people are losing their lives to this on a daily basis. I will continue to fight the stigma on mental health because I know there’s millions of people who are suffering in silence, who can’t come out because they think they’ll be seen as weak.
“It’s okay not to be okay. I didn’t know how to talk about it, I came from a tough family, my own family thought I was attention-seeking.
“If it can happen to the undefeated world heavyweight champion – 6ft 9ins, 270 lbs – then who is untouchable? No one is unreachable. “
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 and talkSPORT has teamed up with Samaritans because it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you ever need someone to talk to, ring Samaritans on 116 123 any time.