Former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton has revealed that he tried to kill himself on several occasions during his battle with depression.
Hatton, who retired from the sport in 2012, made the shocking admission while appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today Show, which was guest edited by Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams.
“I tried to kill myself several times. I used to go to the pub, come back, take the knife out and sit there in the dark crying hysterically,” he said.
The 38-year-old, from Manchester, won the world light-welterweight and welterweight titles during an illustrious career.
However, he was stripped of his licence to box in 2010 after admitting that he was using cocaine and only fought one more time before his retirement. He now works as a promoter and trainer.
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.
He echoed the views of former world champion Barry McGuigan, saying that he feels ‘more should be done for boxers’ with depression.
Ex-world champions Tyson Fury and Frank Bruno are among other high-profile boxers who have suffered with the illness.
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.
Fury, 28, was stripped of his IBF title before vacating his WBA and WBO belts in October to deal with his ‘medical treatment and recovery’.
He admitted taking cocaine to deal with depression and has not fought since beating Wladimir Klitschko in November last year.
Hatton said he had got in touch with Fury to see if he was okay, but he never got a reply.
Tyson is a very complex person. When he said what he said it was heartbreaking. To think Tyson had become the heavyweight champion of the world and should kick on with his life and his career and for it to go pear-shaped was a real crying shame. If he is in a bad place and is depressed, I hope he’s speaking to the right people in order to sort it out.
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.
We wish Ricky all the best on his road to recovery.
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