The Hardest Fight

The Hardest Fight, commissioned by Exeter Phoenix, is a short film about boxing and depression, aiming to offer an insight into the thoughts and feelings that are experienced when fighting against
mental health issues. The films follows a boxer as he sits on his own, preparing for a crucial fight, hearing different thoughts run through his head; we follow him into the ring, as he gets knocked down and has to find the strength to get up again.

Throughout the process of making this film, we’ve been working with professional and amateur boxers, boxing gyms, mental health professionals and many young people who've been positively affected by boxing. For some people, boxing training has been a way to keep them level-headed and provide a good energy outlet, for some the refuge and community of boxing gyms has helped them through tough times, whilst for other people, fighting has become a serious coping mechanism.

Many figures, from sport and elsewhere, have discussed the benefits of boxing in fighting depression and mental health issues. Boxers including Ricky Hatton and Frank Bruno have spoken openly about their mental health issues and how they’ve worked through them, and even Prince Harry recently spoke about how boxing helped him to deal with grief and depression.

We were very lucky to recently be commissioned by Exeter Phoenix and Rife magazine to create a film-based campaign on mental health in boxing, entitled The Hardest Fight. The Hardest Fight will look at mental health issues in sport, primarily boxing, and will look closely at how boxing can actually help you to deal with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Working with several boxing gyms in Bristol and the South West, first we'll be releasing a short documentary focusing on Empire Fighting Chance, based in Bristol. The club runs numerous programmes for young people and adults suffering from mental health issues.

If you have experience with either boxing or perhaps have struggled with mental health issues in the past, you can visit Mind to ask about what services are available. If you’re interested in being involved in the campaign, please email [email protected].

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