BN Investigates | Premium | Jan 02 2019

The Real World: Finding work when the dream is over

Only the very best can afford to retire from boxing and never work again. Many will have to find work to readjust to civilian life and support themselves and their family
Jesus Chavez

THOUGH posted from his own social media account, the former British super-featherweight champion was never going to write the message himself. It would have been too hard. Too hard to think about. Too hard to put into words. It was tough enough, he’d discover, just hitting send. “I really didn’t want to do this,” the message began, “but it has got to the point where I have to. I’ve struggled with life after boxing and messed a lot of things up. I’m looking for a job.”


The fear, at first, was that the intended recipients would deem it a cry for help and crying for help, Gary Sykes believed, was a sign of weakness. It was a lesson taught to him by boxing, and the rules of the game, for better or worse, stay with a fighter long after the sport, the teacher, has packed up and left. See you and good luck, it’s typically at this point a boxer, this breed of half-formed men and woman for whom fighting is not only a career but a life, might require civilian intervention.