Ricky Hatton says changing his bad habits has seen him look his best for a decade as his exhibition bout with Marco Antonio Barrera looms.
The Hitman will face the legendary Mexican on July 2 at the AO Arena in Manchester and the weight loss transformation he has made has been nothing short of remarkable.
Speaking to talkSPORT’s Fight Night, Hatton revealed that he refrained from showing his physique for the first five weeks of training because he wanted people to really see the difference.
“I did five weeks of training camp, I did my first five weeks of training without showing my face or anything like that,” he explained.
“I thought I would be able to train, get myself a training camp, set myself a goal, targets, put my regimen in place like I did before and for my own well-being.
“It’s been well documented how my mental health has suffered over the years with alcohol, drugs, weight gain and just wanting to kill myself.
“I wanted people who might have struggled during lockdown to say ‘do you remember Ricky’s condition? Watch it now! and that’s why I left it five weeks without putting my face on a poster.
Her transformation certainly amazed people. Hatton made self-deprecating jokes about his own weight throughout his career and this humor was often reflected in his ring entrances.
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But now Hatton has made some crucial changes to his daily life to ensure he can feel good about himself again – and he plans to continue to feel that way.
“I think this is a life changing moment, I want to stay away [bad food and drink]. I’ve said this throughout my career, but when I was younger I lived to go to the pub every night.
“I’m 43 now, I don’t go to the pub in midweek. My midweek is training my boxers, doing my own personal training. If I can continue my diet like I did, with the good little dishes, my little prepared meals and a little treat on the weekend, there’s no reason [why I can’t].
“But because I live alone and can’t cook, you can imagine some of the crap I ate mid-week.
“So, I would do my training, but then I would eat garbage and go out in the evening drinking a few beers. I wasn’t going anywhere, that’s why I was the size I was.
“It’s about living healthy and I get a lot of satisfaction when my family and friends come up to me and say, ‘Aw, Rick, you look younger and better.
“Why would I want to go back to the old Ricky Hatton now? I’m 43 now, it was fine when I was 26 and you think don’t worry, I’ll be fine. I can’t get away with it at 43 so easily. I hope it’s here to stay.
In his prime, Hatton was one of Britain’s most popular boxers.
Although he made his Manchester City allegiance clear and went to Blue Moon, he did not alienate United fans.
When he fought Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas in 2007, he took thousands of fans to where you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Manchester, so much noise was being made.
Now he’s coming back and maybe he’ll give himself some special treatment if he beats Barrera.