But then it was gone - his chosen career snatched away after just 14 fights and at just 21 years of age. The fact it was brought to a painfully premature conclusion in a headline fight on Sky TV shows the regard in which he was held. At first Martin tried to shrug off the bleed on the brain suffered in a Commonwealth title war against the vastly older and more experienced John Wayne Hibbert - his only defeat, but one in which he earned many admirers - on January 30, 2016. Accepting his fate has not been easy. Martin has fought depression in the eight months since his retirement was announced last October, but has bravely chosen to speak about the most difficult time of his life. I never hid or dodged anything as a boxer, and Im not going to do that now either, stated Martin. The way I get over things is to talk about them. Its actually good to be able to chat and let people know what Ive been going through. I got used to the limelight. I got used to pleasing everyone and winning titles. I knew I was going to have a good career, but then it was gone. Martin was taken to hospital in the immediate aftermath of that Hibbert fight at the Copper Box Arena, in London. He was released the next day and soon returned to the gym, but thats when the full extent of the problems came to light. It was a situation which eventually led to the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) withdrawing his licence. As there was nothing wrong with me on the outside, I didnt think there was a problem on the inside, added Martin. The first time I went back to the gym after the Hibbert fight, I feinted after throwing a couple of punches. My trainer, Barry Smith, called an ambulance straight away, but I still felt sure it was everyone around me who was over-reacting. Even when the doctors told me it was the end of the road as a boxer, I still thought yeah, whatever, Ill be fine.... But the longer I was in hospital, the more I knew things werent good. Rumours got out, the BBBoC found out about the situation and as soon I heard from them that my licence was being taken away, I broke down. The mental health of sports stars is currently a hot topic - justifiably so in the opinion of Martin. He is now in a position to understand the often lonely and silent battle many face on the inside. Its one that cannot be fully comprehended by those who have never suffered in such a way. Its something that often tends to be kept under wraps, he continued. Its not until you get caught up in a tough situation, as Ive been in the past year, that you realise how troubled people can be. They say the toughest fight for a boxer only starts after he has finished fighting, and Id certainly agree with that. Its been hard to get back on my feet after being diagnosed with depression. Ive not been a great person to be around, and I dont mind admitting that Ive been very low at times. My close family and friends could not have been more supportive. I owe them a lot. Im not saying Im over my depression by any means, but I feel Im making good progress. Id like to help others in the future, but right now I still have to make sure I win my own battle. Martin has been supported by the MTK Marbella organisation since his retirement. He often prepared for fights with stints at their gym in Spain, and now looks after their boxers at shows. He also remains hugely grateful to main sponsors Junction 17 for their generous backing and support.