"I thought I was going to die drinking. There was no way out."
Jason Booth returns to the ring on Saturday night knowing he has been given a second chance in life - and determined to make the most of it.
The Nottingham super-bantamweight takes on Jamie Arthur for the British and Commonwealth titles, live on Sky Sports.
It is Booth's first fight since falling short in his world-title challenge against Steve Molitor last September - and he has taken it at short notice.
But for a man who has had far bigger battles outside of the ring, the 33-year-old will take it all in his stride. In a frank and revealing interview with Ringside, Booth talked openly about those dark times and how his demons almost destroyed him.
I just had trouble in my life, family problems," he said. "My sister dying knocked me off key. I started drinking at young age like normal people do, but it went out of hand.
"I just went off the rails big time and found myself losing boxing because I was in a bit of a mess.
"I was an alcoholic. I like to call myself that because I know if I have a drink I can't stop, but I've addressed that problem and been off the drink for nearly three years.
"When I started going into hospitals I knew I had problems. The doctor said 'look, you're not going to live for another year. You're going to drink yourself into an early grave'."
Booth's brother Nicky is no longer fighting and has been and out of prison and is currently battling an addiction of his own - crack.
It is one of a number of subjects he touched upon in an emotional interview with Ringside's James Tynan, including:
ALCHOHOL - how it almost killed him and is an 'epedemic' in this country
FAMILY - how his wife and children gave him a reason to beat the booze
NICKY - how he is still proud of his brother, despite his problems
BOXING - how he fell back into the sport accidentally
Click on the link above to see the full feature-length interview...