Ricky Hatton: ‘I tried to kill myself several times’

The 38-year-old battled depression after retiring and says not enough is done for boxers

Former world champion Ricky Hatton has said he tried to kill himself several times during his battle with depression after retiring. Photo: Dave Thompson/Getty Images

Former world champion Ricky Hatton has said he tried to kill himself several times during his battle with depression after retiring. Photo: Dave Thompson/Getty Images

 

Former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton has revealed he tried to kill himself several times during his battle with depression.

Hatton admitted there was a huge gap in his life after retiring from a boxing career that saw him take on the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao in front of his army of supporters in Las Vegas.

“I tried to kill myself several times,” Hatton said in an interview aired on BBC Radio 4.

“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.”

In October, ex-world champion Tyson Fury opened up about his battle with depression while Frank Bruno is among the former boxers 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 it’s 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.”

On Fury, Hatton added: “I contacted him to see if he was all right and I 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.

“Having said that, he doesn’t help himself in some interviews.

“From my point of view, having not spoken to him, I don’t know how poorly or how bad he is. He might just be Tyson being Tyson.

“But 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.”

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