/ Boxing

Egan admits to struggle with alcohol

Updated: Monday, 07 Feb 2011 15:58

Kenny Egan: 'Ever since I got back from the games I just went mad on it and didn't stop.'
Kenny Egan: 'Ever since I got back from the games I just went mad on it and didn't stop.'

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Olympic silver medallist Kenny Egan has publicly said he suffered from a drink problem and now attends regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Speaking to Brendan O'Connor on RTÉ's The Saturday Night show, Egan said that his drinking and socialising had become problematic after he returned from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where he won a silver medal and captained the Irish team.

Egan became a celebrity in the aftermath of his Olympic success.

He said: 'I was drinking too much. I was in a bad place. I was drinking too much. Ever since I got back from the games I just went mad on it and didn't stop.’

Egan has continued to box since winning in Beijing, but admitted his socialising had gotten out of control.

He has missed important bouts in recent years. In February 2009, he failed to turn up for a bout against the USA and apparently left Ireland for New York and left messages on social networking site twitter.

He later apologised to his team-mates for missing the fight. Speaking on Saturday, he said it was 'another stupid thing' he had done.

He also missed a March 2009 bout on the undercard of a Bernard Dunne fight, admitting at the time that he did so because he would not be ready for the fight.

Speaking about his drinking binges on The Saturday Night Show, he added: 'They would go on for a week, two weeks. I'd go mad. I'd start with my mates and then the next day I'd go with someone else and then the last day of the week I'd be sitting with an old man in a corner, giving him high fives, having great craic.'

'At the end of it I'd say: "What am I at here?" I'd go home then, get into bed, feel all sorry for myself, sweats, nightmares, the whole lot. I broke my mother's heart.'

Egan intends to fight at the Olympic Games in London 2012. He added: 'I could see myself in four or five years with the Olympics having slipped through my hands because of the gargle sitting in front of me.'

Egan has retained his Irish Senior Light Heavyweight title for 10 years, and won a bronze medal at the 2010 European Amateur Boxing Championships in Moscow.

He said he had not drunk for 25 weeks and now attends regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

The Clondalkin native, who who has been boxing for Miami in the new World Series Boxing competition, revealed that his mother’s intervention was crucial to his gaining control.

His mother Maura, who was in the studio audience, told O’Connor: 'There are two Kenneths. There was the nice Kenneth when he wasn't drinking and there was the different Kenneth when he was drinking. But we had to do something to stop it and get him out of that.'

Egan will defend his National title at the end of February, but he said his main goal was the Olympics in 2012.

Speaking about the National Championships, he added: 'I’m in great shape. I’m back training hard and focussed and looking forward to it.'

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