Don Curry was a superb fighter, seemingly set for true greatness. Referred to as “The next Sugar Ray Leonard,” Curry seemed unbeatable until he ran into huge underdog Lloyd Honeyghan in 1986. But before that fight, with wins over the likes of Milton McCrory, Marlon Starling, Colin Jones, and others, “The Lone Star Cobra” was boxing at its best.
Now aged 60 and long since retired, Curry is sadly in bad shape mentally. Yesterday, Curry’s son put out a powerful and somewhat disturbing tweet in which he asks for help, not only for his father but for all fighters who suffer brain issues in their retirement years.
The following tweet speaks for itself. Hopefully, the powers that be will reach out and assist with Don Curry getting the help he needs.
“Hello All, I’m speaking on behalf of my father, Donald Curry, today. A champion of the world of boxing, one of the greatest welterweights of all time. However, today I’m asking for help. Not in a monetary way, but to spread awareness hopefully find a solution for retired athletes with head trauma and symptoms of CTE. For the last three years, I’ve tried to find help for my father to possibly get a CT scan or have a mental evaluation take place, but living far away and him not being able to travel correctly have dampened that situation.
“I have not been able to figure out how to do so. My father has declined mentally since I was in high school. He now sits in jail again, where he has spent quite a bit of my childhood, teenage and adult years. I didn’t feel for him at first when I was younger because I was unaware and uneducated on CTE and mental health. I didn’t realize what was going on. I had no idea why we would sit on the phone, and he would ramble for hours. He would ask me the same question multiple times in a conversation.
“He would forget where I went to school after telling him 100s of times or forget where I live. My family members would say he would talk to himself in the bathroom for periods of time. He would randomly be aggressive to someone. Instead, some feedback I receive, or when I look at people’s comments from the internet, people say, “that’s just the way he is,” “he’s crazy.”
“I went to a pawn shop in the Dallas / Fort Worth area where a fan reached out to me because there was memorabilia and family photos that were probably sold in an auction, and the employee said, “I heard he was on drugs” It was disheartening to hear [that] knowing what truly is going on.
“Then, for the first time in my life, I spent a weekend with him when he was inducted into the
Boxing Hall of Fame. There I could see he had trouble walking down a hallway. He would lean on a wall while walking and seemed impaired. He would need assistance with simple things and tasks. He would be confused about going to different events that we talked about before getting there.
“The last thing that broke me down was during the final day. I heard great, thoughtful speeches from [commentator] Teddy Atlas, [former champions] Julian Jackson and Buddy McGirt, and more. All of their families were there to support them. I tried to prepare a speech for my father for months, and he never wanted to really get to it. He thought he could go up to the stage and speak from his heart and talk about memories. But when he got there, all he could say was thank you, and he walked off because he was not able mentally.
“Things like this dishearten me because I know the reason why he is like this, but unfortunately, CTE & mental health is something that’s new to us all in 2021. He has more than likely broken relationships because of this disease, and I’m here to apologize on his behalf.
“The only person who continually takes him back after verbal or physical assaults or more is my Aunt. But at this point, she does not know what to do. I don’t know what to do. The last thing I could think of is to ask all his fans, supporters, friends, and former business colleagues for help before he hurts someone, someone hurts him, or he hurts himself.
“There is no infrastructure in place that I’m aware of for athletes, especially boxers, that can get the help or treatment they need for mental health and CTE. I’m asking you to tag ESPN, Top Rank, the WBA, Floyd Mayweather, Mayweather Promotions, or any higher-ups or large entities who focus on mental health to help spread awareness around this, so there can be resources for retired boxers/athletes that may have early symptoms of mental health and CTE, and they can get the help they need before its too late. Thank you.”