DARREN Sutherland’s manager Frank Maloney has said “nothing will ever compare to the shock” of finding the Irish Olympic boxer dead on Monday afternoon.
Sutherland took his own life in his flat after suffering a rapid emotional and physical decline.
His manager was so shocked following the discovery that he collapsed and was taken to hospital having suffered a minor heart attack.
Speaking from Bromley Hospital in London where he is recovering, Mr Maloney expressed his upset at the loss of the young Blanchardstown fighter.
“Boxing is my life. I have had plenty of highs in the sport and plenty of lows as well. But nothing will ever compare to shock and sorrow of finding Darren in his flat on Monday night,” he said.
Sutherland’s trainer Brian Lawrence spoke of his affection for Sutherland but said the Olympic bronze medallist suffered a rapid physical and emotional decline in the past two weeks and had been due to see a specialist about his depression.
It is understood that Sutherland had missed a number of training sessions for an upcoming fight with TonyJeffries next month and had spoken of a loss of confidence in his ability as a fighter.
“He was an absolute diamond to work with, a joy, and he had so much talent,” said Mr Lawrence.
Sutherland turned professional last year following his success at the Olympic Games in Beijing and won his first four professional fights by way of knockout.
Former two-time world champion Ricky Hatton also expressed his sadness at the loss of the boxer. Speaking yesterday, Mr Hatton said he had followed Sutherland’s career and thought he was an “exciting” prospect.
“I think out of all the Olympic guys he was one of the best. All of the Olympic boys have looked sensational, but he had a little bit of class, he was very exciting and stood out. He had a very good professional style.”
“It’s tragic and a sad, sad loss for boxing and more importantly a sad loss for his family and friends. The only words that can sum it up are ‘absolutely tragic’ and my heart goes out to his family,” he said.
No funeral arrangements have yet been put in place, but it is believed the funeral will take place in Navan, Co Meath, where the family home is.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved