BOXING: St Ives star Bradley Smith ready to relaunch his exciting career after overcoming anxiety

St Ives boxer Bradley Smith.

St Ives boxer Bradley Smith. - Credit: Archant

Top talent Bradley Smith is back in business – only a couple of months after being ready to turn his back on boxing.

The unbeaten St Ives lightweight fell out of love with the sport during 2017. It was a situation which led to a more serious issue being uncovered.

Smith was diagnosed with severe anxiety in November, a problem he has successfully tackled in the weeks since.

And the 20 year-old is now relishing a return to training in London from January 15 when he will again link up with Barry Smith’s stable of fighters at West Ham Boxing Club.

“Last year was very tough,” admitted Smith. “I lost my love for boxing, I didn’t want to train and it got to the point where I didn’t even want to go out for food with friends.

“I have to admit the only time I ever relaxed was when I had been drinking. I knew there was an issue of some sort causing me to feel the way I did and I went to the doctors in November.

“The first part was accepting I had anxiety and I’ve since been able to deal with it. Speaking to other people who suffer with it has been a big help.

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“I lost sight of who I am and what I want to be, but I’ve worked too hard to get to where I am in boxing to throw it away. I’ve got the hunger back now and I want to be successful again.

“I’ve got good people around me and I can’t wait to be back in the gym. I need a month to get back into the routine and then I’m hoping to be in the ring around April time.

“Hopefully I can have another fight pretty quickly around June and then kick on from there. I’d like to fight for a title this year or the very least put myself in contention for a belt.

“I’ve always believed in my ability and that hasn’t chnaged. I feel sure I can win a British title and I have time on my side.”

Smith was a classy amateur before making a smooth step up into the paid ranks. He won his debut outing in the summer of 2015 and has since added a further six victories to his record.

His last fight was a July stoppage of Hungarian opponent Jozsef Takacs, although he was quick to admit a more skilled opponent could have given him serious trouble in that contest as his focus began to slip.

Smith then swapped the ring for a job with his father’s roofing business, but he is now set to return to the sport.