Ricky Hatton has spoken of how he considered suicide following the end of his boxing career.
Although the popular Mancunian only confirmed his retirement in July, he now admits the writing was on the wall following his pummelling by Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas in May 2009.
Hatton, with just one defeat to his name at that point, was ruthlessly stopped in the second round and after that gradually slipped into depression and a battle with drink and drugs that came to a head when he was the victim of a Sunday newspaper sting.
Having since officially ended his career and found success with his promoting business, Hatton now concedes that his state of mind was so bad that he considered suicide.
The 32-year-old said: "I was going deeper and deeper into depression.
"I was getting depressed, I was going out, having a few drinks and the worst thing you can do with depression is add alcohol to it. I needed something to get my backside into gear and pull my finger out. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to think 'blimey, Ricky, get a grip'.
"Depression is a serious thing and after my defeat to Manny Pacquiao I contemplated retirement and didn't cope with it very well.
"For someone in my position, taking drugs once is nothing short of disgraceful.
"The reason behind my actions and the way I was behaving wasn't a drink or drugs thing, it was depression. I was so down, I was crying and breaking out and contemplating suicide."
Hatton added: "Half the things I was doing I didn't even read about in the paper. I can't even remember the night that it happened. That's what depression does to you."
Meanwhile, reigning European champion Fred Evans of Wales and London super-heavyweight Anthony Joshua moved closer to Olympic qualification with World Championship wins in Baku yesterday.
Irish welterweight Roy Sheehan successfully negotiated his opening bout, recovering from a first-round deficit to beat Carl Hield of the Bahamas 15-10.