by David P. Greisman
It was just about a month ago that Dierry Jean’s team suspended him and the two-time 140-pound title challenger went into rehab. But he’s out now and was back in the gym as of last week, according to manager Camille Estephan.
“We had to take a hard decision. We wanted to see him take care of himself for not only his career, but his life. We were worried about him. He has dependence issues,” said Estephan, who has said before that Jean has trouble with alcohol and gambling. “Those are very serious matters. Now he’s doing everything that he’s supposed to do. If he continues to do that, he’ll be back in the ring soon.”
The sport is a necessary part of Jean’s recovery, Estephan said.
“I think boxing is saving his life,” he said.
Jean was last in the ring in October, when he was stopped in 10 rounds by Terence Crawford, dropping the 33-year-old to 29-2 with 20 KOs. These issues weren’t a consequence of that defeat, Estephan said, but had actually been back in Jean’s life beforehand.
“To be honest I think he had restarted the issues prior to the Crawford fight, during the camp, which was very upsetting because these are big opportunities and you want to be at your best,” he said. “Unfortunately he didn’t have the discipline at that point.”
Estephan is hopeful that a fighter he considers to be family will have the discipline from here on out.
“It’s a hard thing because when you don’t suffer from it, you don’t understand it. It’s a disease. I had to learn a lot about it,” he said. “Now I understand it, but [Jean has to] make a very clear decision to really be able to come out of this.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]