Ricky Hatton claims he is now “man enough” to admit he will never fight again.
The former world welterweight champion has not entered the ring since a mauling by Manny Pacquiao in May 2009, a defeat which effectively ended his career after which he became depressed and turned to drink and drugs to fill the void.
Despite never officially retiring from the sport, Hatton lost his boxing license last year owing to his out-of-the-ring problems and has since taken on the role of a promoter, pushing Amir Khan’s bout with Paul McCloskey this weekend.
And the Mancunian believes he is now on the road to recovery.
He told The Mirror: “I wake up every morning and still miss it. But the one good thing I do have is something between my ears despite all the hard fights.
“If the fire isn’t burning to get up at 6am and go running, then spar, diet and make the other sacrifices I have made for so many years, then I’ve got to call it a day.
“I didn’t cope well with not having that feeling any more – of having your hand held high, hearing the crowds cheer and heading to Vegas.
“After the Pacquiao fight I was sulking, depressed and drowning my sorrows. Depression and a few pints is definitely not a good mixture.
“I haven’t coped well with retiring, but you have to hit rock bottom before you get back into gear – which is what I’ve done.
“It still breaks my heart to think I won’t fight again – but at least I’m man enough to admit it now.”