Drink, drugs, depression, sex scandals, financial meltdowns and serious health issues are just some of the fights British boxers have faced once they've quit the ring. A Champion's Last Fight examines just why and exactly how some of Britain's greatest boxers have self-destructed in retirement.


Nick Parkinson’s book offers an emotional journey through boxing history – and asks what can be done to help the nation's boxing greats adjust to life away from the ring?


New research and interviews tell the tales of the following fighters, among others…

  • Freddie Mills died in the sixties after being a popular world light-heavyweight champion. Police found it to be suicide but there have been various other theories, and stepson Don McCorkindale gives his opinion on how Mills came to be shot in the eye down a London alleyway.
  • John Conteh and Ken Buchanan talk candidly about their struggles with alcoholism. Buchanan also discusses his health and financial problems as well as being sexually assaulted.
  • Charlie Magri describes what it is like to be working for the council as he approached retirement age while
    Chris Eubank and so many more ex-champions have ended up bankrupt after earning a fortune in the ring.
  • Naseem Hamed talks about his prison experience while others such as Scott Harrison have also recently been jailed.
  • Frank Bruno has suffered from bipolar disorder since retirement and others have also experienced problems with depression, such as Ricky Hatton. Adjusting to life without boxing can lead to depression, but repetitive blows to the head can result in the brain disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Experts on brain injury explain the danger and inevitability of CTE for boxers and how their lives can change in retirement from the sport.
  • Ricky Hatton, Barry McGuigan and others discuss what can be done to help former boxers in retirement. Nearly half of all Britain’s world champions from 1945 to 2012 have suffered various problems in retirement.


Click here for more information, or to read a sample from A Champion's Last Fight.