Ex-champ Ricky Hatton details how his life spiralled out of control

Former world champion Ricky ‘Hitman’ Hatton seems to be in a better place these days having fought off some of his biggest opponents in recent years.

Struggles in his private life and coming to terms with retirement have been tough on the Briton, who has spoken out about the demons surrounding him during his darkest days.

“I tried to kill myself several times,” Hatton told BBC Radio 4. “I used to go to the pub, come back, take the knife out and sit there in the dark crying hysterically.

“There were times when I hadn’t had a drink for days and I’d still come home and if something went through my mind I’d start pondering something. It was the same outcome whether I was having a drink or wasn’t having a drink.

“But in the end, I thought I’ll end up drinking myself to death because I was so miserable.

“I was coming off the rails with my drinking and that led to drugs. It was like a runaway train.”

Hatton is not the first, and certainly won’t be the last to have problems adjusting to life without the adulation of prizefighting, as compatriot Tyson Fury has shown this year.

“I think more should be done for boxers,” pointed out the two-weight world champion.

“Footballers have an agent that looks out for them and a football club that gets behind them, the FA and the players’ football association (PFA) can also be there.

“Whereas boxers it’s like once your time has gone it’s ‘on your way’ and move on to the next champion coming through.

“The thing is with boxers we don’t come from Cambridge and places like that, we come from council estates.

“So in boxing, it’s very, very hard. If boxing had a professional boxing association or something like that, I think it would be a better place.

“It seems to be happening more with boxers. It’s an individual sport so you get in the ring on your own and then when you retire you tend to spend the rest of your life on your own,” he added.