Tag Archives: cocaine

Paul Gascoigne: The drink nearly killed me but I wont give up

Gazza: The drink nearly finished me off this time, but I won't give up the fight

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

12:31 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:31 GMT, 3 March 2013

Paul Gascoigne has revealed he came close to death after his latest drinking binge.

The former England star was admitted to a clinic in the United States last month after his celebrity friends came together to fund his 6,000-a-week treatment.

And the 45-year-old insists he is determined to finally conquer his demons.

Emotional: Paul Gascoigne suffered a public meltdown in Northampton

Emotional: Paul Gascoigne suffered a public meltdown in Northampton

‘The drink nearly finished me off this time,' he told Jimmy 'Five Bellies' Gardner.

'I know I’ve never been as bad as this before. But I’m not ready to give up the fight. I’m getting better now. I’m not there yet, but I’m getting there.’

Gardner, who revealed to the Sunday Mirror that he had spoken to Gascoigne, said: ‘Paul sounded frail and weak and scared. But I could hear something else in his voice too.

'I could hear grit and determination. No one knows Paul like I do and I can tell you, he’s not for throwing in the towel.’

Rehab: Gascoigne has since been flown to America for treatment

Rehab: Gascoigne has since been flown to America for treatment

Gascoigne had a public meltdown at a charity function in Northampton in January with pictures showing him looking bloated, sobbing and unable to stand or speak.

Video footage also emerged of the former Tottenham midfielder at the depths of his alcoholism and mental torment.

He was drinking two litres of
gin and 15 cans of Stella Artois a day before he was rushed to a rehab
clinic, a former friend claimed.

One
time housemate Shane Abbott, 36, has also said he was taking up to 30 antidepressant Valium pills a day and
injecting cocaine.

He was rushed
to intensive care from the Cottonwood Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona when doctors feared he
could have suffered a major organ failure after having a seizure due to
alcohol withdrawal.

Heyday: Gascoigne was one of the best players of his generation

Heyday: Gascoigne was one of the best players of his generation

Celebrities
such as Chris Evans, Alan Shearer, Alan Sugar and Ronnie Irani have
lent support to a Twitter campaign to raise the 100,000 needed to cover his treatment.

English players Frank Lampard, John
Terry, Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere had contributed funds, while FA
Charity the England Footballers Foundation also contributed 40,000 from
the national team.

Gascoigne is expected to be alone for two months during his rehabilitation.

GASCOIGNE’S PROBLEMS WITH ALCOHOL

June 1996:
An alcohol-related 'dentist-chair' stunt in a Hong Kong bar during
England's Euro 96 preparations puts Gascoigne on the front pages of the
newspapers back in Britain.

August 1998:
Gascoigne's marriage to Sheryl ends after she is granted a quick
divorce. The player left his wife with a black eye and badly bruised
face and arm after he attacked her in a drunken rage in Gleneagles,
Scotland.

October 1998: The 31-year-old is admitted to the Marchwood Priory hospital to receive treatment for stress and drink problems.

June 2001: Gascoigne admits himself to an alcohol rehabilitation clinic in Arizona on his Everton manager Walter Smith's insistence.

May 2007: Undergoes emergency surgery for a perforated stomach ulcer.

February 2008: Gascoigne is arrested in Newcastle and detained under the Mental Health Act.

June 2008:
The former England footballer is sectioned under the Mental Health Act
following reports that he was acting strangely in Hemel Hempstead.

Herbie Hide allegedly offers to throw fight and deliver cocaine

Former world champion Hide 'offered to throw a title fight' and 'arranged cocaine to be delivered'

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

07:08 GMT, 24 February 2013

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UPDATED:

07:08 GMT, 24 February 2013

Allegations: Hide is a two-time world champion

Allegations: Hide is a two-time world champion

Former heavyweight world champion Herbie Hide has allegedly offered to help throw a world title fight for 1million.

The Sun on Sunday have published video footage of the Brit apparently boasting about being able to fix boxing bouts while they also allege that Hide offered to peddle cocaine.

Hide reportedly said: 'Whoever, which round you want, whatever you want as long as you put the money.

'I can guarantee one thing, you can get whoever is the favourite, you can get them to step down for a million pounds.

'You need a big name on good record — yeah, like myself!'

Investigation: Police are looking into the allegations of drug peddling

Investigation: Police are looking into the allegations of drug peddling

Hide, 41, was twice a WBO world champion in the 1990s.

Police have confirm that they are investigating the drug allegations made by The Sun on Sunday.

Andy van der Meyde admits to cocaine and alcohol abuse following Everton release

I did cocaine after Everton snub! Van der Meyde bares all about his unhappy life on Merseyside

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UPDATED:

11:13 GMT, 13 December 2012

Former Everton and Holland midfielder Andy van der Meyde has admitted he turned to cocaine and alcohol following the breakdown of his relationship with David Moyes.

The Dutchman spent four years at Goodison Park after joining from Inter Milan in 2005, but quickly fell out of favour and mustered just 20 appearances before being released.

Feeling blue: Andy van der Meyde endured an very difficult time at Everton

Feeling blue: Andy van der Meyde endured an very difficult time at Everton

Van der Meyde's problems on Merseyside began as early as 2006 when he spent a night in hospital amid claims his drink had been spiked. He also had his pet dog 'Mac' stolen by burglars.

But in an interview with The Times, the 33-year-old has opened up about exactly how far his life spiralled out of control.

'When I was at Ajax, I never even drank alcohol,' Van der Meyde told the paper. 'It was the same at Inter. My team-mates would go out to a club, but I didn’t even know they existed. That changed at Everton.

'The biggest mistake I made was cheating on my wife. My relationship with the manager went downhill from that point. Everything did.'

Then when he was left without a club, he turned to drugs.

'I started doing cocaine,' he added, explaining the situation spiralled for a few months.

Seeing red: Van der Meyde admits to using cocaine and alcohol to escape

Seeing red: Van der Meyde admits to using cocaine and alcohol to escape

He added: 'I looked at myself and asked what I was doing. I thought being in Liverpool would kill me. I needed to go home. So I left everything behind and went back to Holland. Within three days, I had signed with PSV Eindhoven.'

Van der Meyde is now plying his trade in the Dutch amateur leagues having written his autobiography, 'Geen Genade' (translated as 'No Mercy').

Frankie Dettori worried he won"t recover from failed drug test

Dettori worried about damage to reputation over shame of failed drug test

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UPDATED:

08:36 GMT, 6 December 2012

Frankie Dettori fears he may never repair the damage done to his reputation after receiving a six-month ban for a failed drug test.

The popular Italian jockey, 41, will not return to action on the racecourse until a fortnight before next year's Derby, with his suspension, handed out on Wednesday by French racing authority France Galop, running from November 20 to May 19 inclusive.

I've been in hiding since it happened because of the shame factor,' he told the Daily Star. 'It's not very pleasant.

Positive: Frankie Dettori failed a drug test after riding at Longchamp on September 16

Positive: Frankie Dettori failed a drug test after riding at Longchamp on September 16

'People will always remember it. Now when they look at me they won't think of the things I have done for racing in the past 20 years, they'll just think, “He's the guy who got caught with drugs”.

'But you can't change the past and you've just got to move on. I'm ashamed and embarrassed. It was one night of madness with friends.

'I dropped my guard when I was at my weakest. I was in a dark place. I was very low, my job was going down the drain.

'When I woke up the next morning I regretted it but it was already too late. I will regret it for the rest of my life.'

Waiting game: Frankie Dettori is facing a ban of six months for a failed drugs test

Waiting game: Frankie Dettori is facing a ban of six months for a failed drugs test

One of the biggest names in world racing, Dettori tested positive for a banned substance, believed to be cocaine, at a meeting at Longchamp in Paris last September.

Jurisdictions worldwide, such as the British Horseracing Authority, are expected to reciprocate the terms and Dettori's next important date is when he will be summoned to the headquarters of France Galop to be retested towards the end of April.

Unseated: Dettori has been banned from racing for six months

Unseated: Dettori has been banned from racing for six months

Battler: Dettori is determined to bounce back

Battler: Dettori is determined to bounce back

Dettori's suspension was backdated as he had already been prevented from riding in France since November 20 when an independent medical commission spoke to him via a conference call and passed the file on to a disciplinary panel of the stewards at France Galop.

The three-times British champion jockey said the indiscretion came as he feared for his future after his 18-year association with powerful owners Godolphin came to an end in October.

Dettori, who was cautioned by police for possession of cocaine in 1993, said: 'The last three or four months have been very strange.

'It's been frustration, unhappy times. I've been in a bad place. It got to the stage where I wasn't flavour of the month any more and the love was gone.

'Watching someone else riding my horses while I was sat in the weighing room wasn't a thing thing that I was used to.

'I wanted to be in the No 1 car, not the second driver. Inside myself I wasn't happy, which is why I let my guard down – I made a mistake.'

Dettori played down any suggestion the ban could signal the end of his career.

He plans to operate as a freelance in 2013.

'I have still got a good five years left in me,' he said. 'My ambition for the next five years is to get my career back on track and start doing good again.

'I feel like I have a point to prove now. I still need to come back to show I'm still as good as I was.

'I want to redeem my name.'

FRANKIE DETTORI FACTFILE

Born: Milan, December 15, 1970

Father: Multiple Italian champion jockey Gianfranco Dettori

Apprenticed to: Luca Cumani

First winner: Rif, Turin, Nov 16, 1986

First winner in Britain: Lizzy Hare, Goodwood, June 9, 1987.

Champion apprentice: 1989

Champion jockey: 1994, 1995, 2004

Married to: Catherine, five children (three girls, two boys)

Other information: Went through the card with seven winners at Ascot in September, 1996.

Survived a plane crash at Newmarket in 2000.

Has his name on a selection of Italian-style foods. Chain of restaurants in London – Frankie's Italian Bar & Grill.

Television: Former team captain on A Question Of Sport

British Classic wins: Derby – Authorized (2007).

Oaks – Balanchine (1994), Moonshell (1995), Kazzia (2002).

St Leger – Classic Cliche (1995), Shantou (1996), Scorpion (2005), Sixties Icon (2006), Conduit (2008).

2000 Guineas – Mark Of Esteem (1996), Island Sands (1999).

1000 Guineas – Cape Verdi (1998), Kazzia (2002), Blue Bunting (2011).

Frankie Dettori banned for six months

Dettori lands six-month riding ban over failed drug test at Longchamp

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UPDATED:

11:53 GMT, 5 December 2012

Frankie Dettori, the best known jockey in British racing, has been banned from riding for six months by the French racing authorities after his failed drugs test at Longchamp on September 16.

The worldwide ban, which has been backdated to November 20, will keep the 41-year-old three-time champion out of action until May 19.

It has been reported that the substance was cocaine and Dettori’s ban matches that of Kieren Fallon who was also suspended for six months on the first of the two occasions he tested positive for the drug while riding in France in 2006.

Positive: Frankie Dettori failed a drug test after riding at Longchamp on September 16

Positive: Frankie Dettori failed a drug test after riding at Longchamp on September 16

It means the Dettori will miss the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas next season and most of the important Classic trials.

But he will able to return in time for the both the Oaks, Derby and important Royal Ascot fixture.

Dettori’s solicitor Christopher Stewart-Moore said: ‘I have spoken to Frankie since the announcement was made and he has told me he fully accepts France Galop's decision.

‘He also accepts that he has let down the sport he loves and all those associated with it, as well as the wider public.

‘But most of all, and this is his greatest regret, he has let down his wife and children.

'He is enormously grateful for the opportunities that he has been given by owners and trainers over the years, and for the support of his many fans.

‘Racing has been good to Frankie and he knows that his privileged position brings with it responsibility.

Waiting game: Frankie Dettori is facing a ban of six months for a failed drugs test

Waiting game: Frankie Dettori is facing a ban of six months for a failed drugs test

‘For this reason he is determined to rebuild his reputation when he returns to the saddle.

‘Frankie could make excuses. He has, after all, regularly been tested for prohibited substances throughout his career.

‘He is clear, however, that the responsibility for his current situation lies squarely with him.

‘From the start of France Galop's inquiry he has acknowledged to them he has made a mistake and that the fault was his.

‘Finally, he has asked me to thank everyone for the many messages of support he and his family have received.’

France Galop announced Dettori’s suspension 24 hours after the jockey’s case had been heard by its Stewards’ Committee in Paris.

That hearing came a fortnight after the Medical Committee of France Galop ruled Dettori had a case to answer and just over three weeks after it first emerged on November 13 that Dettori had produced a positive test.

The jockey did not attend either hearing but gave evidence to the Medical Committee via a conference call during which it is understood he expressed a desire to rebuild his career.

Just how hard that will be, Dettori is about to find out.

Unseated: Dettori has been banned from racing for six months

Unseated: Dettori has been banned from racing for six months

The most vivacious and engaging personality in racing should be able to work his way back into the sport. Other jockeys, like Fallon, have proved that after a positive drug test.

The situation surrounding Dettori’s lapse – the erosion and ultimate ending of his position within Sheik Mohammed’s Godolphin empire – will elicit sympathy in some quarters and his ability as a jockey will ensure there will be owners and trainers happy to book one of the sport’s most naturally-gifted talents.

But the extended absence from the sport comes at a time when, post Godolphin, Dettori had hoped to establish himself as the go-to freelance rider in British racing and, maybe, even challenge for a fourth championship.

Potential rides will have to be offered to rivals and possibly be lost forever.

The rebuilding of Dettori’s wider image will certainly be difficult. The happy-go-lucky image of the father of five has been tainted.

Battler: Dettori is determined to bounce back

Battler: Dettori is determined to bounce back

Dettori produced the positive test on the day he had four unsuccessful mounts at Longchamp on Arc trials day.

It came 24 hours after Encke had won the St Leger at Doncaster for his then employers Godolphin.

The colt had been ridden by young French jockey Mickael Barzalkona, whose promotion within the Sheik Mohammed operation had increasingly undermined Dettori, who had lost his status as the stable’s No 1 jockey.

There has been speculation that the disappointment of missing the Leger winner – Dettori had finished third on John Gosden’s Michelangelo – may have led to a moment of madness from an emotional athlete at a low ebb.

Rumours of a split from Godolphin had circulated before the Derby in June when the huge operation failed to find a runner for Dettori to ride and handed the mount on Kailani, their only representative in the Oaks, to Barzalona.

Dettori’s only group one winner in Britain for Godolphin this season was Colour Vision in the Ascot Gold Cup and his paltry return of 51 winners was his worst since his plane crash season in 2000.

The split finally did come when Dettori chose to ride Aidan O’Brien-trained Camelot in the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe in October, a horse owned by Ireland’s Coolmore Stud, the Sheik’s big sporting and commercial rival.

It appeared a calculated act which inevitably led to the announcement that Dettori’s hugely-successful 18-year association with Godolphin would end at the close of the 2012 season.

His last ride for the stable proved to be his final mount before his ban when unplaced on Cavalryman in the Melbourne Cup on November 6.

FRANKIE DETTORI FACTFILE

Born: Milan, December 15, 1970

Father: Multiple Italian champion jockey Gianfranco Dettori

Apprenticed to: Luca Cumani

First winner: Rif, Turin, Nov 16, 1986

First winner in Britain: Lizzy Hare, Goodwood, June 9, 1987.

Champion apprentice: 1989

Champion jockey: 1994, 1995, 2004

Married to: Catherine, five children (three girls, two boys)

Other information: Went through the card with seven winners at Ascot in September, 1996.

Survived a plane crash at Newmarket in 2000.

Has his name on a selection of Italian-style foods. Chain of restaurants in London – Frankie's Italian Bar & Grill.

Television: Former team captain on A Question Of Sport

British Classic wins: Derby – Authorized (2007).

Oaks – Balanchine (1994), Moonshell (1995), Kazzia (2002).

St Leger – Classic Cliche (1995), Shantou (1996), Scorpion (2005), Sixties Icon (2006), Conduit (2008).

2000 Guineas – Mark Of Esteem (1996), Island Sands (1999).

1000 Guineas – Cape Verdi (1998), Kazzia (2002), Blue Bunting (2011).

Frankie Dettori shame: Jockey devastated at failed test as drugs shame sees Coral remove him from champion jockey market

EXCLUSIVE: Dettori's moment of madness… Racing's most famous jockey 'devastated' at failed cocaine test

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UPDATED:

14:18 GMT, 14 November 2012

Frankie Dettori has been left devastated by the drug-test failure that is threatening to derail his career.

The 41-year-old three-time champion jockey is facing a hearing before the medical committee of the French racing authorities next week after testing positive for cocaine or a derivative of it while riding Longchamp on September 16.

Dettori is currently in Dubai where he is holidaying after riding in the Melbourne Cup on November 6.

Sources this morning revealed to Sportsmail that
the Italian has been ‘knocked for six’ by the positive test which was
‘a moment of madness rather than a genuine addiction.’

Can't get a price: Frankie Dettori is not in the Coral betting for the champion jockey after failing a drug test

Can't get a price: Frankie Dettori is not in the Coral betting for the champion jockey after failing a drug test

Dettori’s withdrawal from his mounts at Doncaster on Saturday was unrelated to the imminent disciplinary hearing.

In a statement, Dettori's solicitor,
Christopher Stewart-Moore, said: 'I can confirm that, as a consequence
of a positive test at Longchamp on September 16 he will be the subject
of an inquiry by the Medical Committee of France Galop next week.

'In compliance with, and out of
respect for, the regulations of France Galop he will not be commenting
further until the France Galop procedures have been completed.'

Meanwhile, Coral have removed Dettori
from the betting for the 2013 champion jockey betting with the threat
of a long ban hanging over him.

Fellow jockey Kieran Fallon was
handed a six-month ban by the France Galop in 2006 when he tested
positive to cocaine for the first time.

Shock: Joshua Tree was one of Dettori's rides at Longchamp on September 16

Shock: Joshua Tree was one of Dettori's rides at Longchamp on September 16

Dettori's deeds by numbers

15
years old when he rode his first winner, Rif in Turin. His first win in
Britain, on Lizzy Hare at Goodwood, followed a year later.

3 Champion Jockey titles. He won his first in 1994 before winning it again in 1995 and 2004.

7
winners when he went through the card at Ascot in September 2006. His
jump dismount became one of the memorable sporting images of the year.

3,430 Races
in 14 countries during an 18-year association with the Godolphin
stable. He won 943 races with them, 110 of which came at Group One
level.

A ban of such magnitude, which would
not start until Dettori’s disciplinary process was completed, would
potentially rule out Dettori until May or June of next year.

Coral spokesman David Stevens said:
‘If, as reports suggest, Frankie Dettori has failed a test involving
cocaine, a six-month suspension is likely, and such a ban would rule him
out of a title bid next year.’

A ban of such magnitude, which would
not start until Dettori's disciplinary process was completed, would
potentially rule him out until May or June of next year.

There had been talk of Dettori having a tilt at the title after the end to his 18-year association with Sheik Mohamed's Godolphin was announced last month. He had been made an 8-1 shot for the crown by Coral.

Their spokesman David Stevens said: 'If, as reports suggest, Frankie Dettori has failed a test involving cocaine, a six-month suspension is likely, and such a ban would rule him out of a title bid next year.'

Hat-trick hero: Dettori has been crowned champion jockey three times

Hat-trick hero: Dettori has been crowned champion jockey three times

Estonia international Oliver Konsa arrested on suspicion of dealing cocaine

Estonia international striker Konsa arrested on suspicion of dealing cocaine

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UPDATED:

15:42 GMT, 13 November 2012

Arrested: Oliver Konsa and three others were taken into custody on Monday on suspicion of dealing cocaine

Arrested: Oliver Konsa and three others were taken into custody on Monday on suspicion of dealing cocaine

Estonia international Oliver Konsa has been arrested on suspicion of dealing cocaine ahead of his country's friendlies in the Middle East.

The striker, who plays for Estonian champions JK Nomme Kalju, was arrested on Monday along with three others suspected of distributing the drug.

The 27-year-old has been capped 20 times for Estonia, but did not make the squad for his country’s friendlies against Oman and the United Arab Emirates this month.

Nomme Kalju suspended the player immediately after Konsa’s arrest for allegedly dealing the Class A drug.

The club’s sporting director Sergei Terehhov said: 'It is very sad. We are shocked by this news.'

The 6ft striker has only managed to score 12 goals in three seasons at champions Nomme Kalju since joining in 2010.

Multiple: Konsa, who plays as a striker, has been capped 20 times by Estonia

Multiple: Konsa, who plays as a striker, has been capped 20 times by Estonia

Ricky Hatton comeback to be approved by board

Board set to approve Hatton comeback as Ricky prepares to return to boxing

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UPDATED:

15:01 GMT, 13 September 2012

Ricky Hatton will be granted a new boxing licence providing he successfully completes all parts of a medical, the British Boxing Board of Control confirmed on Thursday.

The former two-weight world champion, who turns 34 next month, retired three years ago but is set to relaunch his career at a press conference in Manchester on Friday.

Making a comeback: British boxing favourite Hatton is returning to the sport

Making a comeback: British boxing favourite Hatton is returning to the sport

Hatton, who has been crowned both light-welterweight and welterweight champion, attended a BBBoC meeting on Wednesday after shedding almost three stones in training this year.

BBBoC General Secretary Robert Smith said: 'He [Hatton] came before the board yesterday. I'm not a doctor but once we get the medicals in our doctors will look at them. If they are fine they will be signed off. That's all we're waiting for.

'He's been granted it [the licence] pending his medical – so subject to the completion of all his medicals.

Bruising: Manny Pacquiao was too good for Hatton in their Las Vegas fight of 2009

Bruising: Manny Pacquiao was too good for Hatton in their Las Vegas fight of 2009

'We've got some parts of it but there are a few parts to a medical. We have received some of it but we are just waiting for the rest of it and when we get the rest of it, I presume at the beginning of next week, we'll put it all together and our doctors will consider it.'

Hatton was the subject of allegations of cocaine abuse two years ago but Smith says the Manchester-based boxer has cleaned up his act.

'He was very frank,' Smith said. 'He admitted things he had done wrong and was looking to put it behind him. He looked very well and spoke very well and is entitled to another opportunity, pending his medicals.'

Happy days: Hatton celebrates a win over Jose Luis Castillo in 2007

Happy days: Hatton celebrates a win over Jose Luis Castillo in 2007

Hatton's last bout was a brutal second-round knockout by Manny Pacquiao in May 2009 and he has since established his own promotions company which ran into problems in May when he lost his television deal with Sky.

For his comeback fight, it is likely the undercard would feature a majority of Hatton Promotions boxers, including Martin Murray, Anthony Crolla, Rendall Munroe and Scott Quigg.

Ricky Hatton looking fit slim and ready to fight again

Back down to fighting weight, Ricky Hatton looking sharp and ready to fight again

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UPDATED:

14:18 GMT, 5 September 2012

It looks distinctly like Ricky Hatton is preparing to return to the boxing ring, judging by the amount of weight he has lost in recent months.

Hatton was at the Cannonball 2000 launch at the glitzy Hilton Hotel on Park Lane looking as good as he did during his illustrious boxing career.

Surrounded by a bevvy of beautiful young ladies, the Hitman could have been mistaken for a boxer in his prime, waiting to announce his next bout.

Comeback trail: Hatton looking back to his lean and mean best at a press launch in London

Comeback trail: Hatton looking back to his lean and mean best at a press launch in London

But fans will be made to wait that bit longer. Until management can confirm the tentative dates which have been booked for the Manchester Arena in November and January.

Hatton wants to erase the memory of a second-round knockout by Manny Paquico in his last fight before retirement three years ago, he is still wary of a return to the ring.

If he takes the plunge it will be against a journeyman opponent, definitely not former victim Paulie Malignaggi, who now holds a world welterweight title.

Hello, girls! Hatton with Kelvin Fletcher and Ryan Thomas with and models at the Canonball 2000 photocall

Hello, girls! Hatton with Kelvin Fletcher and Ryan Thomas with and models at the Canonball 2000 photocall

Hello, girls! Hatton with Kelvin Fletcher and Ryan Thomas with and models at the Canonball 2000 photocall

The 33-year-old former two-weight world champion announced his retirement last summer and struggled with a cocaine addiction, spiralling into depression.

Hatton has since recovered and established himself as a respected trainer and promoter but has always regretted the way his career ended on the canvas in Las Vegas.

WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi feels he has unfinished business with Hatton and is desperate to do himself justice second time round.

Game over It seemed Hatton's career was finished after the brutal defeat to Manny Pacquiao

Game over It seemed Hatton's career was finished after the brutal defeat to Manny Pacquiao

Ricky Hatton eyes dates for comeback

Hatton comeback edges closer as Hitman's management eye MEN Arena dates

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 22 August 2012

Ricky Hatton inched closer to a comeback as his promotion company made 'very tentative' bookings for Manchester’s MEN Arena for dates in November and January.

Hatton has shed a lot of weight and almost given up alcohol in the last three months.

But while he wants to erase the memory of a second-round knockout by Manny Paquico in his last fight before retirement three years ago, he is still wary of a return to the ring.

Comeback: Ricky Hatton is reportedly set to return to the ring in November

Comeback: Ricky Hatton is reportedly set to return to the ring in November

If he takes the plunge it will be against a journeyman opponent, definitely not former victim Paulie Malignaggi, who now holds a world welterweight title.

The 33-year-old former two-weight world champion announced his retirement last summer and struggled with a cocaine addiction, spiralling into depression.

Hatton has since recovered and established himself as a respected trainer and promoter but has always regretted the way his career ended on the canvas in Las Vegas.

WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi feels he has unfinished business with Hatton and is desperate to do himself justice second time round.

‘I’m hearing that Ricky Hatton is interested in a comeback and I’m hearing rumours that I’m the target of that comeback,' Malignaggi said last month.

‘I’ve had three rematches in my career and I’m 3-0 in those rematches.

Bitter end: Hatton's career came to a shuddering halt against Manny Pacquiao

Bitter end: Hatton's career came to a shuddering halt against Manny Pacquiao

‘In
our fight, he did very well. I’d like to think there are a lot of
things that I could have done better and I’d like to think that I’ve
made a lot of changes on my team that have really, really brought out
the best in me.

‘It’s a loss that I’ve had to live with. It’s a loss that hindered me and every day I think about that loss and it bothers me.

‘It’s unfortunate because I should have done much better.

‘The rematch is something that interests me. I have nothing but respect for Ricky, his fans and his family.

‘They were nothing but respectful to me during the entire promotion and I expect nothing less in the rematch.

‘I know that he wants to come back
and win a title to reclaim old glory but it’s my time now and I know I
can beat Ricky Hatton.’

Rematch: Hatton could face Paulie Malignaggi (left) for a second time

Rematch: Hatton could face Paulie Malignaggi (left) for a second time

Another option for Hatton could yet be Australian-based South African Lovemore Ndou.

The 41-year-old holds the WBF world welterweight title and said last week: 'Him (Hatton) and I have unfinished business.

'He chose to relinquish the (IBF world) title instead of fight me.'

Ndou drew with Hatton's brother Matthew in England in 2009 in a fight he was convinced he had won.