Ballarat boxer Victor Nagbe has opened up about his mental health struggles which saw him walk away from an Australian Title fight in 2019.
The 26-year-old was set to fight for the Australian National Boxing Federation middleweight title at the 'Battle of the Codes' promotion in November.
Then, without explanation, he declared himself unfit two days out from the event and stepped away from the ring.
Nagbe told The Courier he suffered a mental breakdown leading up to the fight and was treated for depression.
"After my last training session, my trainer knew there was something wrong with me," Nagbe recalled.
"We decided to wait until Friday and see how I felt, and on Thursday I didn't want to come out of my room.
"It wasn't an easy thing to deal with. I had to pull out of my title fight."
Nagbe said training commitments, as well as pressures from his business and personal life led to a breakdown he never saw coming.
"It wasn't something I could control, it just happened," he said.
"One second you get sad and feel lonely and you don't know why. You can't find a reason and that's one of the most confusing things.
Nagbe will return to the ring in March to fight Ankush Hooda at the Once Upon a Time promotion at Melbourne Pavilion.
- Affected by this story? Call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. Other options include Ballarat CASA on 5320 3933, or free-call the crisis care line 24 hours on 1800 806 292. Alternatively Phone Lifeline on 13 11 14, or Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277.