Hatton: Girlfriend had to save me
Ricky Hatton has revealed just how close he came to committing suicide following during his three-year retirement from boxing.
The 34-year-old said his girlfriend often had to prise a knife from his hand as depression took its toll on his life. Hatton, who has had had well-publicised battles with drink, drugs and depression after his loss to Manny Pacquiao in his last fight since May 2009, will return to the ring against Ukraine's Vyacheslav Senchenko next month.
He told Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "I was near to a nervous breakdown, depression, suicidal. Most mornings my girlfriend would have to come downstairs and take a knife out of my hand. I had a knife at my wrists, I was in a really bad way, just hysterically crying for no reason."
He added: "I've always liked a little bit of a drink, but my drinking had gone way off the Richter scale, I was having blackouts.
"And even if I was stone cold sober I was trying to kill myself. The real lowest point was when my little girl came along, who is one-year-old now. [Hatton's son] Campbell had the misfortune to see his dad in such a bad way, I am not going to do it any more to my kids and I'm not going to put my family though it any more."
Hatton claims his life now is "really rosy", but admitted in his eyes he was returning to the ring "ashamed" and as a "failure".
"I feel sad because I feel ashamed of myself," he said. "It doesn't matter how many people say, 'Ricky, everyone has problems and you got beaten by (Floyd) Mayweather (Jr) and Pacquiao who are the two best fighters of our generation, you did the country proud'.
"That's very kind of people to say, but they don't have to deal with this little fella who sits on my shoulder every day telling me that I'm a failure and I've let my family and my fans down and British sport, British boxing down. I feel I've got to redeem myself. It's more than a boxing match for me."
Hatton said his current weight of 11 stone two pounds was "music to his ears" one month out from a fight at which he must be 10st 7lbs. He revealed during retirement he ballooned to 14st 10lbs.
Hatton also claimed he would surprise the doubters in the ring. "The way I'm performing in the gym I think everyone is going to be shocked at the Ricky Hatton that comes back," he said.