FORMER Boxing star Ricky Hatton has revealed his battle with depression lead him to try and kill himself several times. This comes at a time when Manchester’s depression rates are at an all time high.
The multiple world champion from Hyde, Manchester believes the ending of his career – which saw him take on fellow champions Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiano – created a gap in his life.
In an emotional interview with the BBC, he admitted his life spiralled out of control with him turning to both drink and drugs.
“I tried to kill myself several times” Hatton said.
“I used to go to the pub, come back, take the knife out and sit there in the dark crying hysterically.
“There were times when I hadn’t had a drink for days and I’d still come home and if something went through my mind I’d start pondering something. It was the same outcome whether I was having a drink or wasn’t having a drink.
“But in the end I thought I’ll end up drinking myself to death because I was so miserable.
“I was coming off the rails with my drinking and that led to drugs. It was like a runaway train.”
Back in October, former Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury opened up about his own battle with depression. Frank Bruno is another former boxer to have suffered from the illness.
“I think more should be done for boxers,” said Hatton.
“Footballers have an agent that looks out for them and a football club that gets behind them, the FA and the players’ football association (PFA) can also be there.
“Whereas boxers its like once your time has gone it’s ‘on your way’ and move on to the next champion coming through.
“The thing is with boxers we don’t come from Cambridge and places like that, we come from council estates.
“So in boxing it’s very, very hard. If boxing had a professional boxing association or something like that, I think it would be a better place.
“It seems to be happening more with boxers. It’s an individual sport so you get in the ring on your own and then when you retire you tend to spend the rest of your life on your own.”
“My boxing career is over and I have accepted it, but you know when you’ve look at death in the face and you’ve come out the other end, I am stronger for it.”
Hatton’s parents, Carol and Ray Hatton, were his biggest supporters and known to attend all of his fights before a high profile fall out in 2009 caused by Hatton and his father having a punch-up in the car park of his gym.
And 38 year old Ricky doesn’t expect to be on speaking terms with them again.
“I’ve come to accept that I’m never going to speak to my parents again.
“I’ve come to accept that boxing is never going to come back and I should look at boxing with the good times and not the bad times and I deal with things a lot better.
“But every now and again I do have a little bit of a wobble and I just have to speak to someone and get if off my chest.
“As boxers we don’t do that. We think, ‘I’m Ricky Hatton or I’m Tyson Fury, I can take on the world.
“You can take on the world in the ring but this problem called depression, you can’t take it on.
“We’re out of our comfort zones with depression. I certainly was and whenever I have bad days now I speak to someone to get it off my chest.
“I have no shame telling that and that’s why I’m here today.”
For anyone experiencing depression or feels they know someone who is, contact Samaritans on
116 123. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org.