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Boxer Ricky Hatton on his depression and contemplating suicide: 'Mental illness is a disease like anything else'


Ex-boxer Ricky opened up about how he was left on the brink of suicide after his 'shock' defeat to Floyd Mayweather which saw him struggle with depression and turned to drink and drugs.

‘After the [Floyd] Mayweather fight I started drinking a lot more heavily and ultimately I fell out with my parents and that was difficult for me and I did not care if I lived or died,' Ricky said. 'I contemplated suicide many, many times. I would be sitting downstairs with a knife and be thinking of slitting my wrists but I couldn’t go through with it.

'I started thinking of different ways to get through it and I thought I could drink myself to death. So consequently I got more depressed and I ended up taking drugs to enable me to drink more and it was a vicious circle.'

Ricky went on to talk about his mental health struggles.

'A big thing for me is not having shame in admitting when I need to cry. Mental illness is a problem, a disease, like anything else,' Ricky said. 'It does not matter who I faced in the boxing ring; I knew I could not get beat this problem on my own.

And he described how friends were worried when he spilt up with his wife of 11 years, Jennifer.

'We were together 11 years and have two wonderful kids and we had wonderful times and when I fell out with my parents she was the rock that brought me through that stage,' Ricky said. 'When that came to a finish I bet everyone thought, “Oh lord, Ricky is going to go down this road”, but I didn’t because I learnt that that you should not be scared and not keep it in. Then I ended up falling out with my parents and my trainer Billy Graham, who I'm pleased to say I am friends again with, but my mind was going and I turned to drink.'

Watch the video to see the interview with Ricky in full.

We have mental health helplines available here as part of our Lighten The Load campaign.

Weekdays 12.30pm