07 February, 2011

Irish Olympic boxing king goes public on alcohol fight:

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Finest hour: Beijing Olympic Games 2008 silver medalist
"When I returned from the Games, I went mad on drink and didn't stop" - 2008 Olympic Silver medalist: Ken Egan from Dublin

2008 Olympic boxing silver medalist Ken Egan has admitted that he has suffered with an alcohol problem and is currently attending Alcoholics Anonymous. Egan became a celebrity after his Olympic success.
Ken Egan has seen dark days since his Olympic delight
Egan has continued to box since winning in Beijing, but admitted his socialising had gotten out of control. 
He has missed important fights in recent years. In February 2009, he failed to turn up for a bout against the USA. He later apologised to his team mates for missing the fights.
Speaking to Brendan O'Connor on RTÉ's The Saturday Night show, he said it was "another stupid thing" he had done.
He also missed a March 2009 bout in Dublin on the undercard of a Bernard Dunne fight, admitting at the time that he did so because he would not be ready for the fight.
"The drinking binges go on for a week, two weeks. I'd go mad. I'd start with my mates and then the next day I'd go with someone
Ann Egan welcomes her Olympic medalist home
else and then the last day of the week I'd be sitting with an old man in a corner, giving him high fives, having great craic.
"At the end of it I'd say: "What am I at here?" I'd go home then, get into bed, feel all sorry for myself, sweats, nightmares. I broke my mother's heart.
"My mother took me to the graves of my two brothers (who had died from alcoholism)  and pleaded with me on her knees: 'Get help, because this is where you're going Kenny.'"
That was when I realised that I had to get help and I have. I am now attending Alcoholics Anonymous twice a week and I've been sober for six months."

Ann told her son where he was going if he didn't stop booze
"Mum took me to the graves of my two brothers (who died of alcoholism)  & on her knees begged me: 'Get help. This is where you're going Ken.'"

Egan intends to fight at the Olympic Games in London in 2012. He added: 'I could see myself in four or five years with the Olympics having slipped through my hands because of the gargle sitting in front of me.'
Egan has retained his Irish Senior Light Heavyweight title for 10 years, and won a bronze medal at the 2010 European Amateur Boxing Championships in Moscow.
The Clondalkin native, who who has been boxing for Miami in the new World Series Boxing competition, revealed that his mother's intervention was crucial to his gaining control.
Ken Egan now has his eyes set on London 2012 and Irish GOLD
His mother Maura, who was in the studio audience, told O'Connor: 'There are two Kenneths. There was the nice Kenneth when he wasn't drinking and there was the different Kenneth when he was drinking. But we had to do something to stop it and get him out of that.'
All roads,  airlinks and boat routes   lead to London
Egan will defend his National title at the end of February, but he said his main goal was the Olympics in 2012.
Speaking about the National Championships, he added: 'I'm in great shape. I'm back training hard and focussed and looking forward to it.'
Now that Kenneth "Kenny" Egan has ditched the booze, don't bet against this man becoming Ireland's first Olympic GOLD medalist in 16 years.
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