Boxing world joining forces to help troubled Preston fighter Scott Fitzgerald
The world of boxing has united in a bid to help Preston boxer Scott Fitzgerald overcome his demons.
The former British super-welterweight champion has fought a well-documented battle with mental health problems and drug addictions.
And pictures believed to have been taken in Preston circulating on social media appear to show the 2014 Commonwealth Games welterweight champion, who trains at Larches and Savick ABC, in an extremely poorly condition.
The person who took and then posted the pictures has been widely condemned.
Larches and Savick founder Jimmy Moon, who trains Fitzgerald (29) alongside his dad Dave, admitted the boxing star is struggling with his mental health.
"He needs help but he needs to want that help," said Moon.
"We have tried helping him, taking him away, but he has got to want to be helped.
"The main thing for us before he can start training again is that he's got to be clean and living the right lifestyle.
"But it's not happening yet. We just try to keep talking to him and helping him."
The frustrating aspect for Moon is that he knows how much talent Fitzgerald has.
"He could have had a world title shot this year," said Moon.
In 2019, Fitzgerald appeared to have the world at his feet after winning two domestic blockbuster fights against Anthony Fowler and Ted Cheeseman.
The victory over Cheeseman saw him claim the Lonsdale belt for the very first time, but he was never able to defend the belt due to a number of personal issues and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since that golden year two years ago, Fitzgerald has only fought once when he gained a stoppage victory over Gregory Trenel in May of this year.
Fellow Commonwealth Games boxing champion, Preston's Lisa Whiteside, who won gold in Australia in 2018 and was a long-time stablemate of Fitzgerald, has reached out to world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who has also struggled with his own mental health issues in the past, to help Fitzgerald.
"Come on people especially my old @gbboxing team-mates who have huge followings lets get the support for our old team mate @Scottfitz91 needs before he is no longer here! Please RT or msg anyone u know may be able to help.
"I trained so many days with @Scottfitz91 in the past and he is such an amazing person! I guess mental health has then resulted in drug addiction! Please help @EddieHearn before we lose another young man to mental health."
Fitzgerald's former trainer and ex-Chorley British welterweight champion Michael Jennings, who once fought for a world title, also wrote on social media.
"Mental health and drug addiction is a horrible thing. Don’t judge people is what I say, till you meet and understand. Share pictures for likes and retweets, then you're a horrible b******! Think about the families side, seeing their son or daughter on social media like that!"
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