Paddy The Baddy Leaves O2 In Tears After Dedicating Fight Win To Friend Who Died On Friday
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Not only did he go home victorious in his win, but Pimblett has also received an outpouring of support from fans after he dedicated his conquest to two people.
Pimblett dedicated part of his win to Lee-Joshua Hodgson – a four-year-old boy who passed away after battling a rare form of cancer called metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma alveolar (ARMS).
He said: "I want to dedicate this fight to little baby Lee.
"He's a little warrior. More of a fighter than any of us will ever be."
Pimblett also took the opportunity to raise awareness about men's mental health in light of a close friend of his having recently passed away.
If you listen to anything today, listen to what Paddy Pimblett has to say.— SPORTbible (@sportbible) July 23, 2022
A class message. pic.twitter.com/3MY7C5sxLe
Pimblett said: "I woke up on Friday morning at 4am to a message that one of my friends, back home, had [died]. This was five hours before my weigh-in. So Ricky lad, that's for you
"But, there's a stigma in this world that men can't talk. Listen, if you're a man and you've got weight on your shoulders, and you think the only way you can solve it is by [suicide], please speak to someone, speak to anyone. People would rather... I know I'd rather my mate cry on my shoulder than go to his funeral next week.
"So, please, let's get rid of this stigma and MEN, START TALKING!"
Fans raucously cheered and applauded the English mixed martial artist who left the arena in tears.
Support for Pimblett has also rained in online.
"Absolutely incredible, without speaking up to my friend I wouldn’t be here now, Suicidal thoughts are the worst imaginable thing! It takes a brave man to speak out and seek help! If you’re struggling please know there’s help out there for you," one said.
Another wrote: "Never have truer words been spoken – Men just do not talk about their problems because they see it as a weakness when really if they did talk it would be seen as a strength."
What a man. 👏— Hurt Puma (@hurt_puma) July 24, 2022
What a message. Things like this save allot of lives. Fury saved a load also. Commend him for it. Never heard of the bloke but I’m a fan now
A third said: "This saved my life. None of you may give a lick. But this came at the right time. I am alive because of this speech."
Pimblett forced Leavitt into submission in just the second round of the pair's fight on Saturday, taking Paddy the Baddy to 19-3 and Leavitt to 10-2.
If you've been affected by any of the issues in this article and want to speak to someone in confidence, you can contact men's health charity Movember here.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677