• Boxing

Hatton checks into rehab with severe depression

ESPN staff
September 13, 2010

Former world champion Ricky Hatton is expected to meet with the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) to discuss allegations of cocaine misuse after checking into rehab.

Publicist Max Clifford confirmed on Monday that Hatton has been diagnosed with severe depression and a drink problem, although he insists drugs are not the major issue following newspaper allegations that he took cocaine in a Manchester hotel.

"He met with the specialist today for four, five, six hours and he was told that his depression is severe depression and that he has a drink problem," said Clifford. "The drugs are quite recent and not actually the problem when we're talking about degrees.

"They are very confident if he does what they tell him with the treatment, therapy and advice, he can sort himself out. And he will do what they tell him."

Clifford continued: "He's been relieved by what they've told him. They've said, 'This is your problem, this is what's wrong, and we can sort it out. You should have come to us a long time ago'. It's been a shaft of sunshine coming through. He's faced up to it now even though he hasn't for some time and it's been there for some time."

Hatton is reported to be 'devastated' following Sunday's allegations in the News of the World. According to the fighter's official website he has agreed to seek treatment "following an emotional meeting with his close family".

Hatton has not fought since his defeat to Manny Pacquiao in May 2009, but has not ruled out a return to the ring and renewed his fighting licence in July. He is also a licensed promoter, and could face heavy punishment, including having both his fight and promoter's licences withdrawn.

"Clearly, the Board knows nothing of the actions referred to by the News of the World," said BBBC chairman Charles Giles in a statement. "But the Board will want to see Ricky Hatton at the earliest opportunity and discuss the issues raised in the press accounts with him."

The statement continued: "The Board enforces the strictest standards with regard to the use of both recreational and performance-enhancing drugs by participants in any capacity in professional boxing: it is concerned at all times to ensure that the sport is run in the best interests both of those who take part in boxing, and the public interest, and that those involved in professional boxing, do nothing to damage the reputation of the sport."

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