Boxing: Booth set for another bonus after keeping demons at bay

Jason Booth has never denied what he did during the two years that he went missing from boxing and that makes his return, his championship reign and his current form even more astounding.

Booth is an alcoholic and walked away from boxing after losing a world title fight in 2004 to find bliss in drink for 24 months, and it ended only when he could hear his body telling him to quit. He walked into Jimmy Gill's gym; urgent hospital checks confirmed the damage that the drinking had done.

"I lived to drink," said Booth. "It's that simple – I drank anything that I could get my hands on. I didn't care, I didn't know and I don't have a reason for doing it – I was going to die if I carried on and somewhere I knew that."

Booth, who is now 32, defends his British super-bantamweight title and fights for the vacant Commonwealth version against Matthew Marsh at the Harvey Hadden Leisure Centre, Nottingham, tonight in the latest of 18 title fights, which started with a European title fight in 1999 when he was just 21.

In 2004 when Booth retired to his bedroom to drink, his brother Nicky had just been released from prison, where he had been sentenced to two years for an incident in a crack house. The brothers dropped off the radar together on the Nottingham estates. Nicky had been the British bantamweight champion when he was sentenced, but was stripped of his belt.

"It was bad for both of us," remembers Booth. "I managed to get back in the gym; the boxing saved me, it's that simple. Nicky is still trying." People that knew the brothers at the time warned that unless they moved from the streets that knew them both too well, they would end up in trouble. Now Booth lives in Bilborough, which is a few important miles from the Strelley Estate, with a new partner, their two children and two of hers from a previous marriage.

"I've gone further than I expected when I first went back to the gym," admitted Booth. "This is all a bonus to me – I'm living my life now one glorious day at a time." A sponsor couldn't have put it better.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Recruitment Genius: Invoicing Clerk

£14500 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are contractors to...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Administrator / Marketing Assistant

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of packag...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy