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Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Thursday, 15 July 2010 12:39 UK

Jason Booth battles back from the brink

Jason Booth
I went to one of the darkest places and never want to be there again

Jason Booth

Nottingham's Jason Booth says his world title fight against Steve Molitor is the next step on a remarkable journey from the brink of self-destruction.

The 32-year-old has the chance to become IBF super-bantamweight champion in Sunderland on 11 September.

But he says winning his fight with alcoholism is his greatest achievement.

"It's made me a better person and who I am. I saved myself," he said. "I got myself into a bad situation with drink and couldn't leave the bad side alone."

Booth, who has 35 wins in his 40-fight career, spent two years away from the ring between 2004 and 2006 because of his drink problem.

"I took time off boxing because I was too drunk," Booth said. "No manager would look at me and all the doors were shut. I'd go on these mad binges and spend loads of money.

"I don't do that any more. I changed when I realised I didn't want to be where I was. To get through it I went to one of the darkest places and never want to be there again.

"I'm so glad I've still got my boxing because that could have gone with it."

Booth returned to win the British super-bantamweight title having previously been a British champion at flyweight, as well the Commonwealth title-holder.

And his promoter Frank Maloney is full of praise for his fighter's courage.

"It's boxing's Cinderella story," Maloney said. "Jason had so many upsets, to put his life back together has been superb.

"Three-and-a-half years ago I thought we'd give him a couple of fights and see how it goes.

"To be truthful I didn't think he had it in him. But now on 11 September he will fight for the ultimate prize in boxing."


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