Herol 'Bomber' Graham - one of the most influential figures in Sheffield sports history - has been committed to a mental health institute.
The 58-year-old boxing legend, who has admitted in the past he has had suicidal tendencies and has bipolar issues, is said to have been detained against his will after going missing in London.
He is currently in St Ann's mental health unit in the capital.
The former British and European middleweight champion has been sectioned before, but this latest situation comes as his partner Karen Neville, 54, is ill with stage three bladder cancer.
Michael Lawless, a long term friend of the former world title contender and Ingle gym pathfinder, says Graham was detained "without his permission" several weeks ago.
"Karen told me that he was committed against his will and police had been involved.
"Me and his friends in Sheffield have tried to keep in touch with him and that will continue but he is in a very bad place. Karen has had devastating news about her own illness, but she is concerned for Herol's situation at the same time. He is in trouble and as we all know has been suicidal in the past.
"We are doing all we can to support them, but it is a traumatic situation" said Michael, a legal consultant.
Seven years ago in his autobiography, Bomber – Behind The Laughter, the fighter, who retired from the ring in 1998, confirmed that he had tried to kill himself as he struggled to juggle money issues and life after his glittering boxing career.
In March 2016, he fell critically ill after his appendix burst.
Mr Lawless organised a dinner in Graham's honour at the Magna Centre to help him get back on his feet.
The father of six and formerly of Abbeydale, has a home in Muswell Hill, in the London Borough of Haringey.
Now Andy Brace, a southern-based friend of Herol and Karen, says the couple are in dire need of financial help.
Karen needs funding for treatment not available on the NHS, he says.
Mr Brace said: "Herol had a job cleaning, but then lost it or walked away from it.
"Then he went missing for a week. He seems to have had a breakdown.
"It is a terrible mess. Herol has made attempts on his own life three times, I believe.
"I cannot see him being released from St Ann's for a while."
Anybody who can help Karen, could go to: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/karens-fight