Ricky Hatton: I’ll never fight a YouTube star but I’m open to boxing legends, Marco Antonio Barrera is more than an exhibition and how Oasis helped me through depression
I would not fight a YouTuber...but potentially open to fighting other greats
"The YouTuber should not lay a punch on Floyd, is that entertainment? With Floyd fighting a YouTuber, all it can be is a money spinner. This isn't a money spinner - it's to raise some money for charity, raise awareness for good causes and let two former world champions showcase their talent for one more night.
"I can't see me fighting a YouTuber. If a Miguel Cotto comes, or a Juan Manuel Marquez, or a Barrera, or a Erik Morales, then obviously that's the route you want to go where people can see the former favourites showcase their skills in an environment where you can't get hurt. If it goes on to be a success, which I'm pretty sure it will be, then I'd be an idiot not to be open minded for another one, but at the minute I'm not looking past November 12."
The exhibition will be competitive
"It's billed as an exhibition, but it needs to be competitive, otherwise what's the point? I've always been proud of my fan base and if I thought there was one person going to be walking out of that arena going 'what a load of s*** that was - that was boring' that would absolutely kill me, so that is not going to happen. And I think Marco would say the same. We're still proud former champions and noone is coming to my backyard to box my ears off. And he won't want to come to my backyard and me beat him up - that's where that personal pride comes in."
My drug taking was heavy - I dropped to my knees in front of a psychiatrist
"It ended up becoming a lifestyle change because when I first got on the scales, when I first started my training camp back around March I was 15st 4lbs. And I've just come out of the gym now and weighed 11st 8lbs. So to lose all that weight at 44 years of age, I've had lots of people on my website and social media saying 'god what an inspiration I've been' - and that's why I did it. I'm an ambassador for mental health. I see my job now as a boxing trainer and ambassador for mental health.
“As much as I'm giving a bit back to boxing, by trying to bring the next champions through that will hopefully make the country as proud as I did, I want to give a little bit back to those with mental health problems because there are a lot of people out there exactly where I was three or four years ago. And it's not a nice place to be in. For my own health, it's given me a goal, something to strive for and work for. To look after myself, keep myself fit - it's been great for my own physical and mental health and it's inspired my boxers who have trained alongside me, and other boxers in the country.
"I was suicidal a few years ago, massively overweight, heavily drinking, heavily drug taking to where I am today. I think this fight goes beyond me and Marco Antonio Barrera sharing the ring and hearing the roar of the crowd again in Manchester. There are other things that go alongside that are just as important. Not only have I helped myself, I've helped others. And then to hear that roar of the crowd again and to share the ring with Barrera, there's nothing negative to come out of this as far I'm concerned.
"I realised that I needed to see somebody and my loved ones were saying ‘you're not well, you're not well’ - and I said 'yeah alright'. When my first daughter Millie came along I said to myself 'get yourself together now' - it's about the kids, it's not just about you - and even that did not work. So I went to a psychiatrist and threw myself on my knees and said 'I can't do this alone.' I can fight anyone in that boxing ring, but I said i'm struggling here and I said I really want to kill myself. I think getting it off your chest to a stranger helps.
"You know what lads are like - you're not going to walk into the middle of the pub on Friday tea-time with six or seven of your mates there and say 'listen lads, i'm crying all day me, I want to f***ing kill myself, what do you think I should do?'. You don't do that. If you go and speak to someone you don't know, where you feel you can spill your whole life on the table to him because you don't know him - that's how it works. And then he advises you how to keep happy, keep yourself busy, fill the hours of your day. It's a work in progress - but you have to make the first move. You feel sorry for yourself - that's what depression is - if you have a marriage break-up, or for me it was when I had to retire after getting knocked out by Pacquiao."
Oasis helped me through depression
"We all have things that go wrong in our lives. If you sit down there and feel sorry for yourself - the worse you're going to go. I know it's hard but it's only you that can do it. I know that sounds brutal and easy enough to say, but it's very, very true. You have to stop feeling sorry for yourself.
"The minute you get off your arse and fill your days and fill your hours [it helps]. I put things like Oasis on. I'd go on my phone and look at videos of my kids on holiday and stuff like that. Then I'd go to the boxing gym, or do a run, or go fishing, or go for a walk, or phone my son Campbell up and say 'how's your training going son'."
I’m at peace with Floyd and Manny defeats
"I'm very much [at peace now with my career]. When I fought Mayweather I wasn't there for my biggest payday, I was there to beat him. I'm a proud fighting man and when I got beat I was devastated. And then when I got destroyed by Manny Pacquiao I was even more devastated. But that devastation alongside personal problems as well - it could have killed me. But once you come out the other end of the tunnel, I now look at them fights and think - 80 percent of all time pound for pound rankings - the number one and two are Floyd and Manny. Back in the day I was devastated, now I've come out the other end and sort of knocked on death's door a little bit, I feel proud of my performances, just to say I was good enough to fight those two people. I can cope with it a lot more and look back with pride rather than want to kill myself."
Ricky Hatton Vs Marco Antonio Barrera - The Exhibition Fight - 12th November 2022 Manchester. Live on Sky Sports Main Event - Buy Tickets Here (https://www.hattonbarrera.com/)