Hatton distraught over drugs allegation, spokesman says

By Mitch Phillips

LONDON (Reuters) - British former world boxing champion Ricky Hatton is "distraught and devastated" after newspaper allegations of cocaine use, his spokesman said on Sunday.

Hatton, who last fought in May 2009 after a career in which he regularly ballooned in weight before fasting dramatically for his fights, was filmed by the News of the World appearing to snort white powder in a Manchester hotel toilet.

"He's very upset and very down as you'd imagine," his spokesman Max Clifford told BBC radio. "He said he feels he's let everyone down: himself, family, friends and the many fans who have been nothing but supportive.

"He does recognize that he's in a bad way mentally and been in a bad place for some considerable time, a year or so," Clifford said.

"He needs to face it full on and show the courage he always did whenever he climbed into the ring.

"We all have to wait and watch and see what happens but what I'm hoping is that he tackles it with courage.

"I hope this will bring him to his senses and make him face up to a problem that has been concerning people for a while.

"I hope he can sort himself out and get himself clear because everyone knows that (with drug use) it's a one-way path."

(Editing by Clare Fallon)