Olympic Gold Medalist Luke Campbell Recounts Suffering From “Anxiety Attacks and Crying Alone in My Hotel Room”

Published 08/03/2021, 3:16 PM EDT
INGLEWOOD, CA – SEPTEMBER 23: Luke Campbell of Great Britain looks on after being defeated by Jorge Linares of Venezuela in their WBA lightweight title bout at The Forum on September 23, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)


After recently announcing his retirement from the sport, Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell opened up about mental health and how it affects athletes in the boxing community. He shared a Twitter thread that revealed his own struggles and he asked his fans to support athletes and also appreciate them for coming out clean and talking about their problems.

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This comes after the 33-year-old recently backed Ryan Garcia for withdrawing from a fight against Javier Fortuna in July.

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Garcia pulled away from this fight and revealed that he was taking a break from boxing; he shared he wanted to work on his well-being and mental health. Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell backed his last opponent by appreciating him for speaking out.

Luke Campbell revealed that he lost his father two weeks prior to his fight against Jorge Linares in 2017. He pointed out that he should not have taken that fight and put himself through that kind of pressure.

This is me weighing in for the Linares fight in 2017. Looking at me on the scales, you’d never know that my dad had died 2 weeks earlier,” said Campbell.

“I was attempting to hide the mental anguish I was experiencing from the world, while also suffering from anxiety attacks and crying alone in my hotel room. By not expressing how I felt, and by continuing with the sporting contest, I now realize it caused me an enormous amount of delayed grief and also mental health problems.

Athletes are humans, if they say they’re suffering please give them the support they need and applaud them for speaking up,” added Luke Campbell.

Why did Luke Campbell retire from boxing?

After 24 professional bouts with 20 wins and 4 losses, the Olympian has now officially retired from the sport. Luke Campbell feels he has achieved enough in boxing. He revealed that boxing is an important part of his life as he started off when he was just 13 years old. Ever since then, he had dreamt of representing his country and winning gold at the Olympics.

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In 2012, Luke Campbell got his shot at fulfilling his dream. He won a gold medal in the 123 lbs Bantamweight division after beating Ireland’s John Joe Nevin. The 33-year-old shared that his Olympic victory was the peak-end of his hopes, dreams, and aspirations. While most fighters consider turning pro as the start of their careers, Luke Campbell saw pro-boxing as an extension and addition to his original dream. He now plans to spend quality time with his wife and kids.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 11: Gold medalist Luke Campbell of Great Britain celebrates after the medal ceremony for the Men’s Bantam (56kg) Boxing final bout on Day 15 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 11, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

As a professional fighter, Campbell was never shy of picking the toughest opponents. Throughout his 24 pro-boxing fights, he faced top athletes like Jorge Linares, Vasyl Lomachenko, and most recently, Ryan Garcia. He was the first fighter ever to drop Garcia on the canvas. Campbell’s performance against Garcia earned him immense respect within the community. However, Garcia later won the fight by landing a sharp hook to the body.

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What are your views on mental health care for athletes?

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Sanjit Misra

267 articles

Sanjit Misra is a boxing author at EssentiallySports. Sanjit fused this passion for writing with his love for jabs, hooks, weaves, and uppercuts and entered the realm of boxing journalism. The elegance, the science, the techniques, and the finesse of hand-to-hand combat was what initially drew him into the world of boxing.

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