Ricky Hatton's slim chances of returning to the ring were effectively ended yesterday when the former world champion had his licence withdrawn by the British Boxing Board of Control.
The 31-year-old, who is to be investigated by police over allegations he took cocaine in a hotel room, was admitted to a rehabilitation clinic 10 days ago. A BBBofC statement read: "Mr Ricky Hatton MBE was legally represented at a hearing held by the stewards of the British Boxing Board of Control on Wednesday, 22 September 2010 to answer charges of bringing boxing into disrepute arising out of incidents of alcohol and drug abuse by him which had been reported widely across the media.
"The board is especially concerned to keep the sport of boxing free from drugs, whether taken for recreational or performance-enhancing reasons and to be vigilant in identifying and dealing with cases of alcohol abuse.
"At the hearing, the board found Ricky Hatton guilty of misconduct in that his actions and behaviour were detrimental to the interests of boxing and to the public interest and that he had brought the sport into disrepute.
"Ricky Hatton is not an active boxer and his current physical condition is such that the Board decided to withdraw his boxer's licence."
Hatton was also fined £20,000 and had his manager's and second's licences revoked, but the BBBofC saw no benefit in withdrawing his promoter's licence.
The statement continued: "Ricky Hatton's manager's and second's licences allow him to have close, day-to-day contact with participants in the sport and the board has taken the view that his conduct and present circumstances make such contact wholly inappropriate. Consequently, the board has decided to withdraw such licences.
"The board gave long and hard consideration as to whether or not to withdraw or suspend his promoter's licence. Having considered all the circumstances, in particular the role of promoter, as opposed to that of manager or second, the fact that Hatton Promotions is a large organisation employing a number of experienced individuals in varying roles, including professional persons, and the effect upon innocent persons, including professional boxers, the board concluded that justice would not be served by withdrawing his promoter's licence. Therefore, his promoter's licence remains. In addition, Mr Hatton was fined £20,000 plus costs."
The two-weight former world champion, who was secretly filmed taking what is alleged to be lines of the class A drug on a night out – a story that was then published by the News of the World – gave a candid interview to the following week's News of the World in which he revealed his anger and pledged to fight his way back to health.
"I'm so angry I could knock myself out," he said. "I'm disgusted at myself for what I have done. I've had a wonderful career and am furious that I have tarnished it."
Hatton has battled with drink and severe depression for "several weeks", according to his spokesman Max Clifford. His father Ray said he had signed himself into the clinic for an indefinite period.
Greater Manchester Police said officers were aware of the story and planned to question him. The force said it would respect the former boxer's privacy after he admitted himself to the clinic. He is to be interviewed once his rehabilitation is complete.
Meanwhile, Amir Khan has announced the date of his next fight. Khan, the WBA super-lightweight champion will take on the Argentine hard-hitting WBA super-lightweight interim champion Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas on 11 December.