BOXING: Bradley Smith taken aback by positive reaction after speaking publicly about anxiety issues

St Ives boxer Bradley Smith with trainer Barry Smith.

St Ives boxer Bradley Smith with trainer Barry Smith. - Credit: Archant

Brave Bradley Smith admits he was blown away by the positive reaction after going public over his health issues.

The rising St Ives star briefly retired from boxing last year - a decision he later revealed was down to struggling to deal with severe anxiety.

Smith first spoke of his plight to the Hunts Post in early January when announcing his return to full-time training. The story was then picked up by BBC Look East, who featured him in their regional TV news programme.

“I had messages from so many people after they read about or saw my situation,” said Smith.

“I’ve been told the Look East interview has had something like 145,000 views online. I’m completely taken about by all the attention and support I’ve received.

“I think a lot of people in my position needed someone to come out and say it how it is when dealing with anxiety.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of other sufferers since and hopefully I’ve been able to help them. Too many people suffer in silence and it shouldn’t be that way. It’s good to be able to talk. It definitely helped me deal with it.”

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Smith’s own struggle led to him falling out of love for boxing. He began drinking heavily in a big to escape from reality before successfully seeking expert help after opening up about his problems to his parents.