By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
RICKY HATTON has come out of retirement to claim redemption in the ring.
‘The Hitman’ has not fought for three years, but yesterday confirmed his comeback, as exclusively revealed by Starsport last month.
The former two-time world champion insists his return has nothing to do with money, though – he just wants to make his kids proud of their dad again.
Hatton, 33, said: “It’s all about me redeeming myself. I don’t want my children remembering me as a champion whose life turned to s**t.”
Hatton’s last fight ended with a second-round knockout at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas.
“I want them to remember me as a fighter who came back and did himself proud,” said Hatton of his two children, Campbell and Millie.
“I became so depressed after Pacquiao because I thought I let my fans down, I felt I let myself down, I felt I let my family and kids down.
“Is my return for money? No, it’s to redeem myself. It’s to make everyone proud of me.
“If I can do that, from where I was, then I’d like to think that even my harshest critic would say fair play.
“I felt I let my family down, my fans down and the whole country down in that Pacquiao fight and now I want to put things right.”
Since that defeat, Hatton has battled to overcome drug and alcohol problems, depression and thoughts of suicide.
He officially retired in July last year, but has lost more than three stone ahead of a November 24 fight at the Manchester Arena.
The welterweight said: “I had personal problems, not just boxing problems. Things were going on with my life.
“I was walking round, even when I wasn’t having a drink, and I was having blackouts. I was losing weeks and months of my life.
“I had a fall out with my old trainer Billy Graham, one of my best mates. That was heartbreaking.
“With all those other things happening, when depression starts, everything goes like that. My life turned to muck.
“The fact that I’m here today, after my suicidal thoughts and depression, is a win. If anyone has had depression, they will tell you that’s what it’s like.”
Hatton has all of his old enthusiasm back after working as a trainer to his own stable of boxers.
He said: “Without doubt, that has done it for me. I am ready for action again and I want to get back in the world title mix.
“Las Vegas? Without doubt! I don’t want a fight just to comeback – I’ve got to fight someone, I’ve got to challenge. I’ve got to fight someone who will put me in a world ranking.
“Yes, I want this comeback to succeed. Believe me, that is my desire and my determination. I want to get back to the top.”