By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
RICKY HATTON has been knocked out by a heart-to-heart with former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.
The pair met in Paris this week after Tyson was banned from entering the UK.
Hatton, who has had problems with drink and drugs, admitted it was a therapeutic session for both ex-champions who hit the skids after struggling to cope.
"It was amazing to listen to him and I learnt so much," said former two-weight world champ Hatton.
"It was unbelievable and the talk did both of us plenty of good.
"Myself and Mike are very similar in that we have both had problems with depression, drink, drugs, and we have both contemplated suicide.
"But now Mike, like me, has come out of it at the other end. We were both sitting there talking about it and feeling happy to talk with each other.
"Meeting Mike was more than just two boxers talking to each other - it was a big learning curve for me and a kind of therapy.
"To go over to Paris and have a chat with him was great. In fact, I would have swum over there to see him."
Hatton, 35, retired in November last year after a 48-fight career in which he lost three times.
However, it was one particular defeat that sent him tumbling into a depressive spin.
That came in December 2007 when he was defeated by the great Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas.
Hatton said: "I never got over that. I told that to Mike and he said he was the same. His depression first kicked in after he was beaten by 'Buster' Douglas in 1990.
"Mike said that defeat really hurt him at a time when he thought he was invincible. He thought he would never be beaten.
"I told him that was exactly the same feeling I had when I fought Floyd Mayweather, and lost when I thought I would win.
"I never coped after that loss and felt I had let my fans down. It was such a depressing time and Mike said he felt the same way."
Hatton said meeting 47-year-old Tyson was one of the most uplifting moments of his life and gave him hope for the future.
He said: "We both spoke about how low we have been and there were so many things he said that I can relate to.
"Mike has always been a hero of mine and when I boxed as an amateur I used to go into the ring in black ankle boots, vest and shorts like him.
"It was a great experience to see him and I know it may sound strange from someone like me, but I was in awe of him when we met.
"Hopefully our shared experience will help other people because it was good therapy for both of us and will be of use to others.
"If there are people out there in the same boat as Mike and me, our message will be worthwhile."
RICKY HATTON'S new book, 'War and Peace: My Story' is on sale now with Mike Tyson's autobiography 'The Undisputed Truth'.Tags: Mike Tyson , Ricky Hatton