Ricky Hatton has opened up to Boxing Social about his past struggles with depression as he prepares to enter the ring in a strong state of mind.
‘The Hitman’ returns to the ring for an exhibition against a friend and hero of his in Marco Antonio Barrera. As he’s been training and getting his mind right, Hatton has been reflecting about the times in the sport when he wasn’t in a good place mentally. He told Boxing Social that the difference today is stark.
“Go back about twelve, ten years and see the state of me then. Massively overweight, drinking heavily, taking drugs, wanting to kill myself, suicide attempts.”
“Knuckled down, got my head together, and look at me now. It’s like night and day, and it can happen to you. That’s the point I want to [make].”
“It has been hard, and I know what situation people are in, so don’t think I don’t get it – but there’s only you, you’ve got to get off your ar*se and dig deep, and take your mind from all these worries you think you’ve got.”
“It makes me feel very, very proud and privileged that people are sending me letters and comments. ‘You’ve inspired me to get my weight off.’ ‘You’ve inspired me with my mental health.’ ‘I’ve lacked confidence but seeing what you’ve done at your age, Rick…’ It’s been brilliant, so nothing negative can come out of November 12th for me.”
Hatton, who got down to 11 and a half stone from 15 recently, has vowed not to return to the days of, as he himself puts it, ‘Ricky Fatton.’ As a pro he was well known for gaining weight in between training camps, and has been open about battling depression after losses in his career.
This time around, he’s ready to take it all in, win or lose, from the ring walk to the final bell. He admits that it will be emotional, but promises to hold it together in what should be a celebration of the sweet science between two greats.
Fans of the man who will go down as one of Britain’s greatest will be pleased so see the path he’s on now. Even if November 12 is his last dance in the ring, it’s almost certain that he’ll continue to inspire and influence the fans who have gained been a part of his journey over the years.