Danny Garcia delivered a powerful message on mental health after defeating Jose Benavidez Jr on Saturday, opening up on his ‘battle’ with ‘depression and anxiety’.
Garcia was returning to the ring after 19 months away from boxing, and he was a majority-decision winner against fellow American Benavidez Jr in Brooklyn.
Following his victory, the 34-year-old tearfully addressed his absence from the sport, saying: “I did take a break, going through mental things.
“Things went dark; I went through anxiety, deep depression, just trying to be strong. And the only way to do better was to fight again. I’m a fighter.
“If you battle anxiety and depression, you can get out of it. That’s what I did today, I fought.”
Garcia’s previous bout was a unanimous-decision loss to Errol Spence Jr in December 2020.
Garcia’s in-ring interview came a week after UFC star Paddy Pimblett encouraged men to speak more openly about their mental health.
Moments after submitting Jordan Leavitt at the O2 Arena in London, Liverpudlian Pimblett said: “There is a stigma in this world that men can’t talk. Listen, if you’re a man and you’ve got weight on your shoulders and you think the only way you can solve it is by killing yourself, please speak to someone, speak to anyone.
“I know I’d rather have my mate cry on my shoulder than go to his funeral next week. So please, let’s get rid of this stigma, and men, start talking.”
If you are experiencing feelings of distress, or are struggling to cope, you can speak to the Samaritans, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email email@example.com, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch. If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.