By Tom Degun

Kenny_Egan_with_silver_medal_Beijing_August_24_2008February 7 - Ireland's Kenny Egan, the Beijing 2008 Olympic light-heavyweight silver medallist, has publicly admitted for the first time that he suffers from a severe drink problem and now attends regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

The 29-year-old from Dublin revealed that his drinking and socialising began to get out of control after he returned from Beijing as a national hero after he captained the team that claimed three medals in China.

"I was drinking too much," Egan admitted on RTE's The Saturday Night Show.

"I was in a bad place.

"Ever since I got back from the Games, I just went mad on it and didn't stop."

Egan continued to box after Beijing but his behaviour became erratic as he began to miss important bouts.

In February 2009, he failed to turn up for a bout against the United States and instead went to New York where he left messages on social networking site twitter.

He later apologised to his team-mates for missing the fight stating it was "another stupid thing" he had done but he then missed a March 2009 bout on the undercard of a Bernard Dunne fight admitting at the time that he did so because he felt he would not be ready for the fight.

Speaking about his drinking binges, Egan said: "They would go on for a week, two weeks.

"I'd go mad.

"I'd start with my mates and then the next day I'd go with someone else and then the last day of the week, I'd be sitting with an old man in a corner, giving him high fives, having great craic."

"At the end of it I'd say: 'What am I at here?'

"I'd go home, get into bed, feel all sorry for myself, sweats, nightmares, the whole lot.

"I broke my mother's heart."

Kenny_Egan_with_mother_Maura_and_girlfriend_Karen_SullivanEgan's mother Maura (pictured left with her son) added: "There are two Kenneth's.

"There was the nice Kenneth when he wasn't drinking and there was the different Kenneth when he was drinking.

"But we had to do something to stop it and get him out of that."

With his life spiralling out of control and with the very real prospect of missing the London 2012 Olympics, Egan, with the help of his mother, began to turn things around.

He said: "I could see myself in four or five years with the London Olympics having slipped through my hands because of the gargle sitting in front of me."

He now attends regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and said he had not drunk for 25 weeks as he looks to get back on track.

Egan is currently one of the main stars of the new global World Series of Boxing (WSB) tournament where he competes for American franchise Miami Gallos in a competition that offers qualification slots for the London 2012 Olympics.

Having retained his Irish Senior Light Heavyweight title for the last 10 years and won a bronze medal at the 2010 European Amateur Boxing Championships in Moscow; Egan is set to balance his WSB commitments with participation in the National Championships as he looks towards his main goal of victory at London 2012.

"I'm in great shape," Egan added.

"I'm back training hard and focussed and looking forward to it."

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