"I Didn't Care Whether I Lived Or Died" - Ricky Hatton Speaks Powerfully About Mental Health in Boxing

ricky hatton mental health
author profile picture

by Jamal Niaz on

Over the years, the number of people suffering from anxiety or depression has significantly risen from 416 million people to 615 million people according to the World Health Organisation. On top of this, around 70 million workdays are lost due to mental illness.

This World Mental Health Day Morson spoke with former unified light-welterweight champion and British Boxing legend, Ricky Hatton, whose lengthy battle with depression led to attempted suicide. His story speaks of extremes, yo-yo-ing between the highs of success and crushing lows of defeat, resorting to self-medication and coming out the other side with the help of exercise and his family. Ricky attests to the strength of open communication and re-prioritisation, advice which transcends industries and workspaces.

Ricky Hatton was one of the most successful and influential British athletes of the last decade, however, like so many others, he had been secretly fighting depression long before any notoriety. In our exclusive interview with ‘The Hitman’, he spoke openly about how his depression manifested:

“It’s very hard to describe it unless you’ve been there yourself. It’s just totally depressed, no motivation, not the will to even get up in the morning. You know you need help, but you don’t want to tell anyone. You’re in bed crying every day. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”

Far from being purely something that came at the end of his career, Ricky believed that the seeds were in place long before:

“I think I’ve always had it. When I started getting successful, I was getting paranoid that people thought I was getting too big for my boots or too cocky. Every time I got paranoid from an early age. People would be saying ‘look at that big time’ and I’ve been anything but that”

Ricky’s success inside the ring served as a temporary distraction to the turmoil brewing inside but once he suffered his first loss inside the ring, things started to go noticeably downhill:

“When I got beat by Mayweather, I really did feel like I let the fans who came to Vegas down. That was the start of it then after that, I had a bit of a yo-yo effect. I got beat by Mayweather then I beat Lazcano and Malignaggi, then I got beat by Pacquiao. After that, I fell out with Billy Graham and my Dad. When I knew I had to retire that was the beginning of the end for me, I didn’t care whether I lived or died”

With no more bright lights or rabid fans packed in arenas, Ricky rapidly went into a downward spiral of, much publicised, substance abuse and an alcohol dependency. However, there came a moment that served as a catalyst for Ricky’s road to recovery:

“My baby girl came along, I held her in my arms and I thought it’s not about you anymore. Before the kids came along it was just Ricky Hatton and I didn’t care but now I had something else to live for. It was something I couldn’t do on my own, I went to see someone and it turned out to be the best move I ever did. It saved my life”

Even though the birth of Ricky’s daughter ultimately made him make the decision to seek help, it was actually vocalising his internal struggles and talking them through with someone else which turned his life around. With boxing a traditionally machoistic sport where mental warfare is as much a part of winning as the physical fight, for Ricky this was a large and brave step.

The Hyde-born fighter turned trainer opened the eyes of many in the boxing community and effectively opened the door for many other fighters to come forward and be honest about their fight with anxiety or depression, with one of the fighters he trains, Tyson Fury being a recent example.

Hatton talked with us about whether he believes his courage to come forward and discuss his illness saved the lives of others in the process whether they were in the sport of boxing or not:

“I’d like to think so, I see it as much as my job now (to help others). People think because you’re successful and you’ve got a few pounds in the bank that you’ve got nothing to worry about but that’s not the case. I think if someone like myself comes out and admits it, more people will come forward. I do a lot with Frank Bruno, he’s the same.”

Ricky finished the interview by offering advice to anyone who is suffering from anxiety, depression or any other form of mental illness:

“You’ve got to get it off your chest, don’t be scared about laying it all on the table and saying what you’re struggling with. I think you’ve got to try and do positive things that make you happy, a tablet just covers the cracks as far as I’m concerned. You’ve got to do things such as exercise when I have a bad day I come to the gym and I feel better for it”

Ricky felt he had to internalise his battle with mental illness due to the stigma attached to mental health problems, particularly in men at that time. While there might seem to be a sharp climb in the statistics in terms of the number of people suffering mental health problems, this figure could also reflect a greater openness and willingness to accept that people are struggling.

We at Morson encourage anyone who is struggling with mental illness to seek help and not suffer in silence. Mental health problems are much more common than you might think - even in places you wouldn't necessarily expect.
This World Mental Health Day, we have launched a guide to tackling mental health in the workplace in conjunction with Premiership Rugby team Sale Sharks. Click here to get your copy.

Cx Jobs

Principal Design Engineer

Managing, organising, and ensuring efficient execution of design and support projects for the repair, development and use of Babcock products, throughout their lifecycle. Acting as delegated Design Authority for engineering aspects of Babcock Integrated Technology Design Services products in accordance with Company Procedures and Processes. Principal Tasks and Responsibilities Post Holders principle tasks and responsibilities are: Design Function * Managing design work in appropriate engineering disciplines. * Executing duties in accordance with Company procedures for training, health and safety, personnel, quality and project requirements. * Reviewing existing Company procedures and Project controls and identify new controls to provide improved quality assurance, and improved cost against deliverables. * Acting as Design Authority for engineering aspects of Babcock products. * Authorising design documentation as required. * Chairmanship of Design Reviews (of appropriate Categorisation) to identify best technical solution to fulfil Project objectives. * Representing Group and/or Department as required. * Managing design projects in accordance with Company Procedures. * Managing work to time, cost and quality. * Providing professional engineering support to surface ship, submarine, commercial and equipment projects. * Providing business development support across Babcock Design & Technology. * Performance and management of system requirements, concept design and modelling. * Ability to manage a team to interpret a design requirement and create a design solution. * Acting as Independent Technical Assessor and performing Inter Department Checks, Concession Analysis, and the like. * Preparation of Project and Department Plans and Tracking and Forecasting, Assistance in Preparation of Bids in related subjects, * Recruitment and Management of staff at all appropriate levels. * To behave at all times in a manner commensurate with that of a professional engineer. * Manage staff as required in accordance with company and HR policies and procedures. Bidding * Managing design teams involved in the preparation of technical aspects commercial tenders. * Managing preparation of Technical Reviews in support of tender responses requiring design input. Project * Acting as Design Manager responsible to Project Manager for Projects. * Management of technical aspects of selecting sub-contractors and/or suppliers. * Management of technical aspects of work carried out by sub-contractors and/or suppliers. * Liaising with Project to resolve Project issues. * Liaising with Production to resolve manufacturing problems. Business * To actively seek and win work for the appropriate Discipline. Interfacing Responsibilities * Business Stream Directors and their Business Development Managers providing SQEP resource where possible. * Appropriate Project Managers: for budgets, timescale and priorities. * Design subcontractors: to ensure compliance with the Design Intent. * Project and Production Teams: to resolve technical queries. * Directly responsible to other PDEs or the Senior Operations Manager Authority Post Holder is authorised to: * Manage the preparation, checking and authorising of design documentation. * Represent the Babcock Design Authority when requested to do so. Qualifications and Experience Requirements Academic: It is preferable that the post-holder has a minimum of a second class honours degree or comparable academic standard, in an appropriate discipline and should hold Chartered Engineer status via an appropriate Institution. However, personnel with extensive and relevant experience may be considered suitable. Experience: Demonstrable evidence of having worked in the field of the appropriate Discipline design, analysis and technical management at an appropriate level.

Industrial Manufacturing Engineer

Our Bolton Client has a requirement for a Industrial Manufacturing Engineer to undertake the below contract role. Role responsibilities Manage the performance of the supply base to ensure that they deliver product to time, quality and cost. * Support the Industrial Manager in the implementation of the Industrial Validation Plans within the Supply Base to ensure that robust and comprehensive technical and manufacturing solutions are available * Carry out Product Assessments to ensure that the industrial requirements are met and producibility objectives are achieved * Support the Industrial Manager in production readiness reviews within the supply base ensuring appropriate levels of manufacturing, inspection and test readiness. where gaps are identified ensure that the appropriate improvement plans are put into place o Initiate product containment action planning as appropriate * Ensure that during the product development phase, non-conformances are managed to closure with effective remedial and corrective actions, for commodity suppliers only. During the production phase, non-conformances are managed to closure with effective remedial and corrective actions for MEP and commodity suppliers * Support to the manufacturing integrated production teams and defect review boards or project meetings, taking responsibility for the timely resolution of any supplier issues associated with programme, quality and cost * Responsible for the setting of the goods inwards inspection criteria in sap using the inspection planning and inspection methods functionality * Responsible for undertaking product verification activity at the supplier prior to product delivery in accordance with the needs of the project (i.e the industrial manager & product assurance manager) * Responsible for ensuring product specific manufacturing system delivery requirements are met by suppliers and any corrective actions are in place * Interface management with ISP (Industrial Policy, Global Supply Chain & Procurement), Programmes Quality, Operations Quality and Design Role requirements (skills, training and qualifications) * Ideally qualified to HNC, HND or equivalent, plus substantial relevant experience * In depth knowledge of manufacturing processes * A good level of understanding of machining processes * A good understanding of Project Management and Supply Chain principles, practices and processes * Can define, re-engineer and review processes * Good commercial and financial understanding * Negotiating and influencing skills * Good communication skills able to communicate verbally and in writing Due to the impending IR35 changes this role will be PAYE or Umbrella

Rail Apprenticeship - London

RAIL APPRENTICESHIP OPPORTUNITIES NOW AVAILABLELondon (Canning Town area) Are you looking a career in Rail Engineering ?Live near Canning Town, London ?Do you have GCSE Grades between 3-9 (D or above) in Maths & English ? Earn while you learn (starting on standard national apprenticeship wage).Onsite learning of various elements of the UK rail infrastructure.The chance to be part of an ever growing industry and gaining skills that can set you up for life enhance your future employment and earning potential.Work towards a nationally recognised qualification.Working for 30 hours per week for 12-18 months (under the Apprenticeship)To apply, send your CV (and include copies of your Maths & English qualifications where appropriate)

Assembly Operator

We are currently recruiting for Production colleagues to join our client's world class facility in West Yorkshire on a permanent basis. The successful candidate will be working Monday to Fridays with no weekend work involved. Full training will be provided and this role could particularly suit someone with a keen interest in DIY, looking to work in a professional environment with a stable, reputable company. This is a unique opportunity to join a business where you will learn and develop new skills in modern methods of construction, whilst having lots of opportunity for career progression. Duties Include:- Working with power tools / basic hand tools- Taping / joining units- Assembly tasks- General housekeeping Skills Required: - Minimum 1 year DIY or Labouring skills- Ability to work well as part of a Team- Strong work ethic Please note the consultant looking after this position is Tahanee Twist

Austin Distel Va Opp86kf Q Unsplash