Luis Collazo admitted that he once contemplated suicide after becoming embroiled in alcoholism.
The American, who will square off against Amir Khan in Las Vegas in the early hours of Sunday morning, told reporters about the period in his life when he was in a "dark place" before finding religion.
He said: "I got to a point in my life, I even thought about committing suicide, I was in a dark place, I turned to alcohol, I turned away from my family and friends. When I was younger I used to have guns in my house.
"One night I just asked God give me a sign: 'If you can change my life over, I will give my life to you.' The next day I woke up a totally different person. The hole I had in my heart was filled. Even my wife could not give me that happiness.
"Back in Brooklyn I'm doing something with teenagers getting in trouble, to set up a boxing programme to show them some type of discipline and to let them know that it's not over yet. Just because you are going through some issues, you can still change your life if you really want to."
Collazo's meeting with Khan takes place at the MGM Grand.