GOOD

Retired Boxing Star Opens About His Post-Career Battle With Depression

“You can take on the world in the ring but this problem called depression, you can't take it on.”

For a generation of boxing fans, the British boxer Ricky Hatton served as a beacon of humility and decency in a sport not known for either. He was a sensation all over the globe, particularly in England, but throughout his ascent, he remained honest and grounded, attracting legions of fans who opted for that persona over the egos projected by Floyd Mayweather (who defeated Hatton) and the like.

Nowadays, Hatton is retired, but he still speaks openly not just about his career, but the struggles he’s faced in his life after boxing. Namely, his battle with substance abuse and depression as he seeks out a purpose in life following boxing.


Here he is in 2014 speaking candidly about his struggles with mental illness:

His career began to unravel in 2007 after his first professional loss to Floyd Mayweather, then a subsequent loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2009. Having lost his status as an elite boxer, he entered rehab for cocaine addiction in 2010. Since then, he’s battled with depression, most recently speaking about it to the BBC, stating:

“I tried to kill myself several times. I used to go to the pub, come back, take the knife out and sit there in the dark crying hysterically.

There were times when I hadn’t had a drink for days and I’d still come home and if something went through my mind I’d start pondering something. It was the same outcome whether I was having a drink or wasn’t having a drink. But in the end I thought I’ll end up drinking myself to death because I was so miserable.”

His words are painfully familiar to many retired athletes, especially those in contact sports. Not only must they cope with their inability to continue their life’s work as an athlete, but head trauma leading to CTE can bring about the very instances of suicide, depression, and substance abuse that he mentions above.

He continued to speak of how taboo and difficult it can be for someone like a boxer to discuss depression or even admit that they’re struggling it, instead putting on a cocky, arrogant swagger for the fans:

“As boxers we don’t do that. We think, ‘I’m Ricky Hatton or I’m Tyson Fury, I can take on the world’. You can take on the world in the ring but this problem called depression, you can’t take it on. We’re out of our comfort zones with depression. I certainly was and whenever I have bad days now I speak to someone to get it off my chest. I have no shame telling that and that’s why I’m here today.”

Hatton continues to plea that boxers, especially retired ones, realize that such feelings are, sadly, common, and that help is available. The full interview can be heard here:

Hopefully, by opening up about his struggle, he’ll show future fighters that there’s no stigma to seeking help at any stage in your career.

Sports
Screenshot via Sweden.se/Twitter (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
Science

The disappearance of 40-year-old mortgage broker William Earl Moldt remained a mystery for 22 years because the technology used to find him hadn't been developed yet.

Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997. He had left a nightclub around 11 p.m. where he had been drinking. He wasn't known as a heavy drinker and witnesses at the bar said he didn't seem intoxicated when he left.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Gage Skidmore

The common stereotypes about liberals and conservatives are that liberals are bleeding hearts and conservatives are cold-hearted.

It makes sense, conservatives want limited government and to cut social programs that help the more vulnerable members of society. Whereas liberals don't mind paying a few more dollars in taxes to help the unfortunate.

A recent study out of Belgium scientifically supports the notion that people who scored lower on emotional ability tests tend to have right-wing and racist views.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics