Welsh giant-slayer Daniel Lerwell says BK saved his life

Posted on Monday 28th October

Daniel Lerwell

Footage of Lerwell chinning Pete Radford and CJ Mills in David and Goliath bareknuckle boxing matches have had millions of views on the internet.

The 33 year old from Swansea can clinch a world-title shot with a victory over Ricky Nelder at London’s O2 Indigo Arena on Saturday,

November 16 – and help raise awareness for autism.

Lerwell sank into a deep depression after son Leo was born with autism five years ago and attempted suicide before deciding bareknuckle boxing was his future.

He said: “I blamed myself for my son having autism. I thought it was all down to me. I made myself sick and started to self-harm. I thought everyone would be better off without me. I started drinking, getting into trouble, getting into fights.

“I was staying in bed all day, not wanting to do anything. One evening I came home from the pub about six-thirty, told my kids I loved them and then went up to the bedroom. I tied my dressing gown belt to the ceiling, I doubled tied it so it wouldn’t snap, and tried to hang myself."

“The next thing I remember is being woken up by my wife (Lisa) screaming. Another 30 seconds and I wouldn’t be here. I’m lucky my wife was there. I’m lucky I was found. I’ve had mates who killed themselves through drugs and depression."

"It’s a horrible place to be. I felt so alone – but I wasn’t."

“I was in the mental ward of a hospital for two days. I woke up and thought: ‘Where do I go from here ?’ I thought about my family and realised the only way is up."

“The message I have for anyone thinking of suicide is: ‘Don’t let it be your last mistake.’ Because it is a mistake."

“I looked at my life and made changes. I hated my job as a plumber so I changed it – and that made a big difference."

“If you hate your job, change it and exercise really helps beat depression. The boxing gym is the best place to go for exercise. Punch a bag for 10 rounds and it gets rid of your anger and helps you sleep. But even if you just go for a walk, it really helps. It makes you feel better."

“Sometimes I don’t want to go to the gym, but I make myself and feel uplifted."

“Bareknuckle boxing saved me."

“I‘ve been as low as you can be and as high as you can be. I never thought I would end up where I am now."

“I love the brutal honesty of bareknuckle boxing. It’s rough where I’m from and when there’s a problem, you sort it out with your fists. I suppose that’s why bareknuckle boxing appeals to me.”


For anyone battling depression and thoughts of self-harm, don't suffer alone, reach out to those you love or contact MIND - https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helplines/

daniel lerwell