Michael Conlan has opened up on the steps he is taking to try and fight the suicide crisis happening in Northern Ireland.
Conlan has been shocked by the recent sad news regarding the suicides of several young boxers, resulting in him coming up with the idea to send an open letter to health minister Robin Swann appealing for “urgent action” on suicide prevention.
The likes of Carl Frampton, Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, ex-Ireland rugby international Tommy Bowe, footballer James McClean and Hillsborough campaigner Professor Phil Scraton are among those to co-sign the letter, and Conlan is hoping something can be done.
Conlan told Yahoo Sports: “I have two young kids, and I don’t want them to grow up where suicide is accepted and where they believe it’s a normal way to die.
“When my children are old enough to understand the world they live in, if they say to me, ‘Dad, what did you do?’ I don’t think it’s good enough to say, ‘Yeah, I was a champion.’ Great. I want to be able to tell them that I tried my best to break this terrible cycle and to make this a better place for young people to live.
“I want to show them what is really important and what really matters and that when their dad saw this, he didn’t stand by and say, ‘Oh, that’s too bad,’ and go back to train for his fight.
“I want my kids to know that I took a stand and I tried to do the right thing and I did whatever I am capable of doing to fix this terrible situation.”
Conlan is back in action next month, as he returns to Madison Square Garden in New York City to take on Belmar Preciado (20-2-1, 13 KOs) on St Patrick’s Day.