By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
RICKY HATTON is confident there will be no return to depression after reviving his promoter’s career this week.
Manchester’s former world light-welterweight and welterweight champion is now enjoying life on the safe side of the ropes as a promoter and trainer.
Hatton, 34, has signed a TV deal with BoxNation and claims working alongside fellow promoters Frank Warren, Barry McGuigan and Frank Maloney will produce more big fights.
The link-up with Warren’s BoxNation was just what Hatton needed after seeing Bury super-bantamweight Scott Quigg leave him for rival promoter Eddie Hearn, whose shows are screened on Sky Sports.
Not only is life at the gym in Hyde going well – but so too is life in general for Hatton after November’s comeback ended in tears.
The Hitman felt compelled to make a ring return after battling problems with alcohol and depression since his two- round KO loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2009.
Despite being stopped in nine rounds by Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko at Manchester Arena last year, Hatton has no regrets over coming out of retirement and believes it exorcised some demons left from the crushing Pacquiao defeat.
He said: “I’m in a much better place now and with this TV deal things are going really well now.
“From a personal point of view, having the deal with BoxNation is going to help me massively.
“I’ve made a few changes to the gym as well and whereas it was going down, now it’s on the up.
“We were struggling for members but I’ve brought someone in who knows about the business and it has made a big difference.
“I’m in the gym Monday to Friday and I’m kept busy. I’m never going to be known as a stick insect but I’ve kept the weight off.
“People thought I would go back to my old ways of going out and getting p***ed, putting on the weight but I’m keeping the weight off because I’m behaving myself.
“I don’t think you are ever going to lose it with depression, but I’m doing all right now.
“Life has changed since the boxing. If I didn’t have the comeback people would have said, ‘Oh he f***ed it up’. But I came back and gave it my best shot and I feel a lot more comfortable now.
“I don’t feel as though I’ve let people down whereas before I did. People think a lot of me for that.
“Life has got a lot better. I get home and instead of going out and getting p***ed because I’m upset, I’m thinking about what I can do in the gym the next day.
“I’ve got my hunger back for the game and life has slowed down. My partner Jennifer Dooley is expecting another little girl on August 16, so it has to slow down after that.”
Hatton reckons British boxing is also in a healthy state – despite a lack of big fights this year.
He added: “I think boxing is in a very, very good state. I think there’s been better eras but when you see some of the talents coming through, the lads that we’ve had from the Olympics, yes, I think it is in a good state.
“You’ve got Carl Froch, who is fighting the best who is out there, time and time again. And Amir Khan, who is always in good fights.
“The main thing is a lot of the best fighters want to fight each other. David Haye and Tyson Fury want to fight each other. We could probably do Martin Murray and Billy Joe Saunders now as well.”