Ricky Hatton has revealed just how close he came to committing suicide during his three-year retirement from boxing.
The 34-year-old-who manages Sheffield boxers Adam Etches and Scott Jenkins - 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.
Eventually, he could take part in a national box-office blockbuster against Sheffield’s Kell Brook whose handlers are facing difficulty in arranging an IBF title bash with American Devon Alexander, and would probably prefer a crack at Hatton.
The Mancunian told Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme: “I was near to a nervous breakdown, depression, suicidal. M 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.
“I’ve always liked a little bit of a drink, but my drinking had gone way off the Richter scale, I was having blackouts.
“The 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 family 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”.
“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’.
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. And he laimed he would surprise the doubters in the ring.