Ricky Hatton has opened up on why he will return to boxing aged 43 – almost 10 years after his last fight after he was inspired by Tyson Fury’s comeback.
Hatton had trained Tyson Fury in recent years, being in his corner for his comeback fights, and has revealed that like Fury, he battled with depression and drew on similarities between their experiences – saying the Gypsy King found himself in a ‘very dark place’ after winning the world title against Wladimir Klitschko.
The Manchester legend compared that feeling to with what he suffered with after his first professional loss to Floyd Mayweather in December 2007, which had begun a dark period in his life when he suffered with depression and lead to a drinking problem.
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He said: “The thing that got the ball rolling for me was the Mayweather fight. I didn’t just turn up for my biggest payday to fight Floyd Mayweather. I genuinely thought I was going to beat him. Then when I didn’t, I couldn’t do any appearances. I couldn’t go out in public. I couldn’t show my face. It was a real horrible experience.”
Hatton added: “Tyson was very similar to me. I have spoken to Tyson about this. He’s not going into as much detail, but he said he just got into a very, very dark place. He even said he was depressed when he won the world title. You think to yourself, how can you become the heavyweight champion of the world and still be in such a deep and dark place.”
Although it won’t be an official comeback, as he is set to fight Marco Antonio Barrera in an exhibition bout, the Manchester legend has revealed that he needed a reason to get out of bed and something to look forward to.
Hatton will fight in front of his hometown fans at the Manchester Arena on July 2 against the legendary Manchester boxer in what is being described as a ‘party-like event’ – with live music to be played on the night as well as other bouts to be scheduled.
Hatton has not fought since 2012, which was one comeback fight after originally retiring in 2009 following his high-profile defeat to Manny Pacquiao. The Manchester fighter was soundly defeated in that fight, after being dropped twice in the first-round before a devastating shot secured the win in the second.
Hatton was just 31 at the time, a young age to retire as a boxer, losing his passion for the sport after making millions in fights against
Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr
He would come back for one more bout in 2012, but after losing to Vyacheslav Senchenko, he immediately retired from fighting. Ten years later though, Hatton, will be back in the ring once more.
When asked why he will make his return, Hatton spoke openly about his struggles with mental health issues.
He said on the Gary Newbon Sports Show: “I might be retired but I am not dead. I never stopped being a champion. I never stopped wanting to succeed. You still need a reason to get out of bed every single day.”
Hatton insists it is not the start of a real comeback and the fight at Manchester Arena will have no decision and neither man will ‘go for the kill’. It is set to be a “concert-like atmosphere” for the event.
Hatton said: “I am doing this for fans who struggled being locked up with Covid. I got a call and was asked if I would come back to do this for the fans who have been locked up for ages after Covid.
“Covid has been tough for me, for everyone. I want to inspire people who have had mental health problems, too. They can look at me and say ‘He struggled and now look at where he is’ so they can do it too.”
Hatton’s son, Campbell, remains undefeated in his seven professional fights – with Ricky’s brother Matthew training him.
Tickets available from www.HattonBarrera.com.
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