On November 24 Ricky Hatton, easily one of the sport's most popular figures, will return to the ring to face Vyacheslav Senchenko in a welterweight contest. This bout will be Hatton's first since getting brutally knocked out by a prime Manny Pacquiao in May of 2009.
At the time, it seemed like a good decision to walk away from the sport of boxing, a sport known for its participants languishing long after they have reached their expiration date. Over the course of the last 18 months of his career, Hatton was fortunate enough to face both Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, a feat which enabled him to swell his bank account to a size that should allow any man to walk away from boxing (or any job, ever) for good.
One could assume that with a hefty bank account, a wonderful family, his own promotional company, getting away from boxing at a young age (Hatton was only 30 when he retired), and not taking serious damage in the ring (the Pacquiao fight was explosive, but brief) the "Hitman" would be prepared to have a content life away from the ring.
Alas, few retirement stories go as well as planned.
In an article written by Lance Pugmire in the LA TImes, Hatton opens up about his troubled lifestyle during his three-year hiatus away from the sport he so dearly loved, and perhaps more importantly, away from the fans he loved to fight for.
Within the article he discusses the many issues he had, including suicidal thoughts. "I had a hysterical nervous breakdown; my girlfriend took a knife from my wrist three or four times," Hatton said.
If you have not yet read the piece, do yourself a favor. Click the link and read it, it's worth the five minutes. Hatton discusses his health problems, family drama, losing motivation to train, and, ultimately, his desire to return to boxing.
I will let the article speak for itself, but it is fascinating to see what celebrities go through when they retire from doing what they have done their entire lives in front of millions of adoring fans. It's something that we, as an Average Joe, cannot fully comprehend. When I retire, someday, I will probably be about 60 years old and watching reruns of Family Matters on TV Land Redux or something. I won't have to find a way to substitute the adrenaline because, I don't know about you, but I don't have 20,000 or so people chanting "There's only onnnnnne Kory Kitchen!" at my day job.