Ricky Hatton "feels he has let everybody that matters down badly" after being secretly filmed by a newspaper allegedly snorting cocaine, the spokesman of the former world light-welterweight champion said yesterday.
A photograph on the front page of the News of the World showed Hatton snorting what the tabloid claimed was cocaine at a Manchester hotel two weeks ago.
"Clearly he's distraught about it, very upset and very subdued," said publicist Max Clifford, speaking on behalf of Hatton. "He's been in a bad place for some time... and obviously he's really upset about what has happened but he totally takes responsibility.
"He just wants to let everybody know how he feels. He's got to sort himself out." The 31-year-old Hatton has not fought since losing to Manny Pacquiao in May last year – only the second defeat of his career – but has not officially retired.
Clifford said those close to Hatton had been urging the boxer to get help. "I think it is fair to say friends and family have been trying to warn him in recent times, for the last few months, and now they are all hoping this situation will bring him to his senses," Clifford said.
"I think, obviously, everybody is hoping some good will come out of this. He feels devastated and we all hope this will be the wake-up call."
Hatton, who held the light-welterweight title before moving up successfully to welterweight, was first defeated when he lost comprehensively to Floyd Mayweather in 2007.