Ex-boxer Hatton hits back from depression nightmare

Former world champion Ricky Hatton says he has put his drugs, drink and depression nightmare behind him as he relishes his new life outside the ring as a promoter.

The British star, nicknamed "The Hitman", admitted he had contemplated suicide after his humiliating second-round knockout at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in May 2009 -- the last fight of his career.

But now, three years on from that defeat and almost a year since he officially hung up his gloves, Hatton says he is "loving" his new life as a boxing promoter.

In Hong Kong scouting for Asian boxing talent, Hatton said: "When I retired it was very, very hard to come to terms with. I had a lot of time on my hands and was worrying 'What am I going to do next?'"

With about 30 fighters in his stable, the Stockport-born ex-fighter has also recently established his first gym and has his own brand of clothing.

Hatton emerged onto the scene in 1996, winning a bronze medal at the world amateur championships. He became British light-welterweight champion and won the "fringe" IBU light-welterweight title in 2001.

By 2005 he was gaining a reputation as one of the world's best fighters and claimed the IBF light-welterweight title before moving up a division to welterweight, overcoming Luis Collazo to take the WBA crown.

In December 2007 he succumbed to his first professional defeat -- against Floyd Mayweather -- and in May 2009 he suffered his humiliation against Pacquiao.

In September 2010 he suffered a further blow to his reputation when his licence to box was withdrawn as a result of having taken cocaine, contributing to an ignominious end to a fine career featuring 45 wins and two defeats.

Hatton was diagnosed with depression and a drink problem the same month after the News of the World published video footage of the boxer allegedly snorting the drug.

He finally confirmed his retirement in July 2011, more than two years after his last fight.

In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live two months after quitting professional boxing, Hatton admitted the Pacquiao defeat drove him to the brink of taking his own life. But he said this week: "I'm well past that (depression).

"I spent a lifetime thinking, 'should I have another fight? Should I not?' I knew it was over but instead of making a final decision and laying a line under it people would say, 'Are you going to fight again'? And I would say, "You never know'. But I did know and bit by bit it was driving me insane."

Hatton says he has helped overcome depression by approaching his current interests with the same single-minded determination he took towards his boxing career.

He established Hatton Promotions in February 2009 with the aim of "becoming the most successful boxing promotional company in England".

"My ambitions now as a promoter are as big as they were when I was a fighter," said Hatton.

"I didn't just want to be the best in England, I wanted to try to be a global success."

It is that ambition to be a successful promoter on the global stage that took him to Hong Kong this week. Hatton said he was astonished that more talent had not emerged from Asia.

"I'm flabbergasted," he said before watching an evening of fights in Hong Kong.

"You can't tell me that someone round here hasn't got the talent somewhere. We just need to get it and nurture it. I'm sure we could find some talent here and it could be really, really massive."

Hatton says he wants to bring British fighters to Asia to excite sport fans and also take Asian talent to Britain to give them experience and "make them stars".

He is focused on unearthing the next "Hitman", no longer dwelling on the decline of the boxer who is also known as "The Pride of Hyde".

"I never look back now and I think people respect me for that. Instead of going the other way and crumbling, people do like a comeback and that's what I like to think I've done."

Hatton will return to England battling a fresh setback after British broadcaster Sky apparently dropped plans to screen bouts by his fighters.

"I have a load of champions and a top stable so HP (Hatton Promotions) will consider other avenues for my lads," he tweeted.

"I guess if you want loyalty buy a dog."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Mayweather picks off Pacquiao to join greats
    Mayweather picks off Pacquiao to join greats

    Floyd Mayweather's emphatic win over Manny Pacquiao sealed his status as a boxing great, but triggered an outcry in the Philippines and divided opinion amongst the sports legends. Feinting and dancing his way to a unanimous decision, Mayweather comfortably picked off Pacquiao over 12 rounds to extend his 19-year unbeaten record to 48-0. Yet the jeers could not obscure a clear win for the skilful Mayweather, with judges awarding him the decision by margins of 118-110 and 116-112. Mayweather, …

  • Sadness, disappointment in Philippines after Pacquiao defeat
    Sadness, disappointment in Philippines after Pacquiao defeat

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Sadness and disappointment gripped Filipinos after Manny Pacquiao's defeat in his much-anticipated fight against American Floyd Mayweather Jr. but they still considered the boxing icon a national hero. …

  • Philippine rebels kill most wanted Islamist militant in south

    The Philippines' most wanted Islamist militant, who escaped after a raid in January that killed 44 police commandos, was killed on Sunday in firefight with Muslim rebels, officials said. Protracted police operations to arrest three Islamist high-value targets had become the biggest political crisis in five years for President Benigno Aquino and put at risk his government's peace efforts with Moro Islamic Liberation Front. A proposed law creating a new autonomous government for minority …

  • Disappointed Filipinos cry foul as Pacquiao loses
    Disappointed Filipinos cry foul as Pacquiao loses

    Boxing fans in the Philippines cried foul and groaned in bitter disappointment on Sunday as national hero Manny Pacquiao lost to American rival Floyd Mayweather in the "fight of the century". Filipinos filled gymnasiums, cinemas and bars as the Southeast Asian nation of 100 million people stopped for Pacquiao's battle with Mayweather in Las Vegas, which he lost in a unanimous points decision. A devastated Pacquiao said immediately afterwards that he thought he had won, and many at home agreed …

  • Steamy fight...and weather as well
    Steamy fight...and weather as well

    Filipinos who will flock to steamy public gymnasiums today to watch free live screenings of Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. are advised to drink lots of water as the heat index is expected to reach as high as 40 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday the forecast for heat index in Metro Manila may reach 39.8 degrees Celsius. It could go as high as 40.3 degrees …

  • POEA asks advertisers to help fight human trafficking
    POEA asks advertisers to help fight human trafficking

    The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has invited advertisers and public relations (PR) agencies to help combat illegal recruitment and human trafficking. POEA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac conveyed his invitation through his Twitter account @HansLeoCacdac posted last April 29. “Any ad agencies, PR firms or their industry associations interested in joining the campaign against illegal recruitment and human trafficking?” he said. Cacdac made the invitation to prevent …

  • Even soldiers will take a break today
    Even soldiers will take a break today

    It’s all systems go with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) live stream viewing of today’s fight between Filipino boxing icon Sarrangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao and  Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Soldiers will take a break today,” said Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, AFP Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief, referring to military’s free-viewing event of the most awaited Pacquiao-Mayweather bout. The same preparations have already been done by the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, …

  • ‘No sign of Mount Bulusan’s imminent eruption’
    ‘No sign of Mount Bulusan’s imminent eruption’

    The government is on alert to ensure public safety as Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon province exploded on Friday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday. Despite the alert, Valte said there is as yet no need to evacuate residents, with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reporting that “there is no threat of imminent eruption” and that the volcano remains at Alert Level 0. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options