The former two-division world champion, from Manchester, England, officially called quits on his career in July of this year at the age of 32. But before making that decision, Hatton, now a successful promoter and qualified trainer, turned to alcohol and drugs in the wake of his thumping by Manny Pacquiao in December 2009 — and admits he even considered taking his own life.
‘I was going deeper and deeper into depression…I was going out, having a few drinks and the worst thing you can do with depression is add alcohol to it,” Hatton told BBC Radio Five Live. “I needed something to get my backside into gear and pull my finger out. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to think ‘blimey, Ricky, get a grip’.
“Depression is a serious thing and after my defeat to Manny Pacquiao I contemplated retirement and didn’t cope with it very well. The reason behind my actions and the way I was behaving wasn’t a drink or drugs thing. It was depression. I was so down, I was crying and breaking down and contemplating suicide.
“Being a proud man and a warrior, to get splattered in two rounds like I did was really hard to come to terms with. When I tried to get back into training, I realised the hunger was gone and my career was over.”
Hatton eventually spent a short time in rehab after being exposed for using cocaine by the now-defunct English tabloid newspaper, The News of the World. He bears no grudges, though. Indeed, the former junior welterweight and welterweight titleholder, known as the Hitman, believes it was a blessing in disguise.
“Everything got on top of me and it was a really horrible time in my life,” said Hatton, whose only other defeat in 47 fights came at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr in December 2007. “I was having blackouts, days on end whether I was drinking or not when I couldn’t remember what had happened in my life. I thank The News of the World because who knows where it could have ended up.”
photo: Chris Cozzone/Fightwireimages.com