HATTON AND CAMACHO – TWO FALLEN EX-CHAMPIONS
By Maloney L. Samaco
Mon, 26 Nov 2012
Ricky Hatton and Hector Camacho are two boxing legends who were hounded by misery and depression in some part of their lives. Last Saturday, November 24, 2012, Hatton was beaten by former WBA welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenko of Ukraine by a ninth round stoppage at Manchester, England. On the same day, Camacho died after he was removed from life support after being shot in the face four days earlier in his hometown in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Former WBA, IBF, IBO and The Ring lightwelterweight and WBA welterweight champion Hatton openly declared about his depression and alcohol and drugs abuse in an interview with the BBC. “I was so down. I was crying and breaking out and contemplating suicide,” Hatton said. “Depression is a very serious thing. People don’t raise how deadly it can be.”
On September 13, 2010, Hatton was admitted to a rehabilitation facility, The Priory, in Roehampton, London, England, for substance abuse to deal with drink and depression problems. The day before that, the Sunday tabloid News of the World published a front-page story “alleging Hatton has been a regular cocaine user with accompanying pictures showing the boxer apparently using the drug.”
Hatton is said to be "devastated" following the story. The former champion sought medical help two weeks before that, after news surfaced he drank 11 pints of Guinness, Vodka and Sambucca during a night out.
His tragic fall to Manny Pacquiao was a painful experience which caused his despair. Now with the loss to Senchenko causing his second retirement, he is challenged to face another battle with loneliness and depression. Life away from adoring fans is terribly miserable for those who cannot accept their career is over.
Former WBO lightwelterweight, WBC lightweight and WBC superfeatherweight champion Camacho battled drug, alcohol and other problems throughout his life especially when his boxing career was on a downfall. In 2007, he was convicted of burglary of a computer store in Mississippi and was sentenced to seven years in prison. When he was arrested the police found ecstasy drug in his possession in January 2005.
A judge eventually reduced his sentence to one year and gave Camacho probation. He was later put on jail for two weeks after violating the probation. Camacho's former wife, Amy, filed a restraining order against him in 1998, alleging he threatened her and one of their children and they later divorced.
On November 20, 2012, Camacho was shot in the jaw and seriously wounded while sitting in a car outside a bar, with the driver, a childhood friend, was killed in the shooting. Packets of cocaine were found in the car.
''The people around him didn't have the guts or strength to lead him in the right direction,'' said Camacho’s friend former featherweight champion Juan Laporte as quoted by Associated Press. ''There was no one strong enough to put a hand on his shoulder and tell him how to do it.''
“Fighters are high risk candidates for developing depression. Professional boxing is one of the most brutal demonstrations of athletic ability and the relationship between repeated forceful head trauma and depression is steadily being established,” according to Ciarán Herlihy of Boxing Insider.
In 2010, the Journal of the American Medical Association related brain injury with depression. It stated that the American Association of Neurological Surgeons estimated that 90% of boxers sustain brain injury and it recognizes the vulnerability of boxers.
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