Ricky Hatton, the immensely popular lunchpail hitter from England, was caught in a filmed sting by the newspaper The News of the World snorting multiple lines of what the paper described as cocaine.
The video comes off as a pathetically lurid takedown of the boxer, as the voiceover narrator self righteously declares what a shock the site of the boxer, who has been on hiatus as he contemplates whether to glove up again, will be to fans who see him snorting lines of powder.
One can sense the veiled glee in the narrators voice as he does a play by play of the Hitman, age 31, going to town with a rolled up piece of paper and powder.
Heres a quote from the paper: A friend who witnessed the former world champ take SEVEN lines of coke in a Manchester hotel said:
If he carries on hell kill himself. Im really, really worried for him.
The footage was taken in a hotel, during a night of partying, two weeks ago, allegedly.
A woman described as a fellow fighter, one Emma Bowe, rats the Hitman (45-2; last fought in May 2009, KO2 loss to Manny Pacquiao) out. Im only talking about this because Ricky is a danger to himself. If he carries on like this hell kill himself. Im really, really worried for him, especially if he tries to make a comeback in the ring as hes hinted - he could have a heart attack.
Thats one way to stage an intervention if youre worried about him. Help a nosy newspaper sting the guy, Emma. No word on if she was compensated for her efforts...
She said shed hung out with him before, and that hed had coke on him then too. Of course, that developement crushed her world. I was dumbstruck and felt bitterly disappointed, she told the paper. Ricky was my hero and to see him abusing drugs was such a letdown. He was a real role model, I didnt expect that of him.
She didnt share with the paper, or the paper didnt share with readers, what if anything she ingested on that night, or give any hint if there was any romance with Hatton, who has a fiancee.
Tough spell for UK fighters on hiatus who are keen on sniffing uplifting powder. Joe Calzaghe, the Welsh ex champ, was also stung by the same news operation, in March. Calzaghe said reporters posed as reps from a Russian bank and broke down his guard. I very much regret my occasional use of cocaine in what have sometimes been the long days since my retirement from the ring, he said after. I am fully aware of the bad example it sets to other people and particularly to youngsters and I apologise to my family, friends and fans.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?