Billy Joe Saunders has explained how he helped prevent boxing pal Tyson Fury committing suicide.
Fury has previously opened up on his battle with depression, and has revealed that he came close to killing himself during his darkest days.
Things appear to be on the up for the Gypsy King at the moment, with Fury having made his latest WWE appearance at Smackdown in his home town of Manchester on Friday night.
He teamed up with Braun Strowman – who he previously knocked out at last week’s Crown Jewel event – with the pair making light work of the B Team duo of Axel and Dallas at Smackdown.
Lineal heavyweight champion Fury is now set for a return to boxing for his proposed rematch with American Deontay Wilder in February, after the WBC made him mandatory challenger to the world heavyweight title.
But Saunders, who has been friends with Fury since they were in England squads together at the age of 15, remembers darker times for Fury.
The WBO super middleweight champion has told of how he had to remind Fury of his responsibilities as a father in early 2016 after the Gypsy King told him he was contemplating suicide.
Saunders had invited Fury on a training camp where he introduced him to trainer Ben Davison – but shocked when he saw the state of him.
“When he came over, when he came walking through the airport I thought ‘f***ing hell what a mess, I didn’t even recognise him,” Saunders told Matchroom Boxing’s Born Fighter series .
“This was in early 2016. That night I had a chat with him for about two hours and he was talking about suicide and everything else.
“I said, look, why the f**k are you talking about suicide to me now? I said, ‘If you went and commit suicide who’s going to look after your son, who’s going to look after your daughters and your missus?’
“What, is someone gonna say my dad was world champion and then he committed suicide?
“What are you giving him to look up to? What’s he going to get out of life? What’s he going to do?
“I literally put his kids there because I knew that was the only thing he could really care about at that time.
“I knew he didn’t care about money, he didn’t care about anything else, didn’t care about fame, boxing, nothing.
“The only thing you really care about in that situation is your kids.”
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“When you see him in that state to up there where he’s at now… What impresses me the most is seeing him in such a horrible state to where he’s at now.
“I’m happy and glad to see where he’s at now and the way he’s fighting, because at one stage he was going to 100% commit suicide.”
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