Nigel Benn explains life-changing ‘encounter with Jesus’ as he returns to boxing


Benn said he is returning to boxing at the age of 55 to gain “closure” after being tormented by drug abuse, depression and the death of his brother during his career.

The former world champion, who revealed he suffered suicidal thoughts before turning to Christianity just over 10 years ago, has announced a one-off fight with Sakio Bika on 23 November in Birmingham.


Benn has not fought professionally since 1996 but, having found peace, feels he has unfinished business due to previous problems outside the ring.

“This fight is all about me. It wasn’t financial, it was always about closure that I wanted that I never had,” said Benn at a press conference in London.

“I suffered with a lot of issues in my life from a young age, from 1972 when my brother died – the murder of my brother – which I carried through to my adult life.

“At the age of eight, I started smoking cigarettes to 41, I started doing ecstasy, smoking spliff all through my career, but suffered with depression.

“There’s not one fight that I went through that I never suffered with. It was bugging me.

“I don’t even think I was at my best, I don’t know how I got that far to be inducted into the hall of fame and voted the best super-middleweight in history along with Joe Calzaghe by the WBC.”

Nicknamed the ‘Dark Destroyer’, Benn claimed the WBO middleweight title in 1990 and held the WBC super-middleweight crown…

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