Hatton next on Pac Man's menu?
You might have expected Downes to take greater pleasure from outpointing the greatest fighter who ever lived. But beneath their hard exteriors, boxers are often sensitive souls, especially when it comes to the agonies of their brothers in arms.
Londoner Downes met Robinson in 1962, when the former welter and middleweight world champion was 41. He'd engaged in 162 professional fights. No point gloating -Downes knew his sell-by date had long gone.
The over-the-hill boxing champion is one of the most recognisable clichés in sport. Perhaps the saddest. Which is why many will have winced while watching Oscar de la Hoya being reduced to rubble by Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas.
Fighting at welterweight for the first time since 2001, it took just two rounds to realise the former six-weight world champion was shot.
Pacquiao won every minute of all eight rounds. Just as a young De la Hoya had done against Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez in the same town 10 years earlier.
"My heart still wants to fight, that's for sure," said De la Hoya after Saturday's fight. "But when you physically can't respond, what can you do?"
You do what Robinson and Chavez were unable to do. What Muhammad Ali was unable to do, and hundreds of others. Hang them up, and never look back. The 'Golden Boy' era is over - it's the age of 'Pac Man'.
The Filipino superstar is nothing short of a phenomenon. He started his career as a light-flyweight and has won world titles in four divisions. Still, before his match with De la Hoya, who is a former middleweight world champion, he had never fought higher than lightweight.
When he fights, crime grinds to a halt in Manila. Rebel forces put down their guns. Only one set of fans in the world come close. And they belong to Ricky Hatton.
Manchester's Hatton was ringside at the MGM Grand, scene of his defeat of Paulie Malignaggi a fortnight ago. Already looking plump after two weeks on the razz with the Gallagher brothers, he was also sporting a satisfied grin.
Hatton v Pacquiao at a packed Wembley Stadium next summer - what a fight that could be. Hatton looked almost back to his best against Malignaggi. He'll have to be better than ever to avoid being gobbled up by 'Pac Man'.
Pacquiao has been in with them all. Two wins (and a defeat) over Erik Morales - he made 'El Terrible' look terrible. Two wins over Marco Antonio Barrera - he was the first, and last, man to stop the 'Baby Faced Assassin'. A win and a draw against Juan Manuel 'Dinamita' Marquez.
Pacquiao is clearly no respecter of Mexican legends bearing threatening nicknames. Hatton's not yet a legend - and he's definitely not Mexican. But he fights like one. And he's called 'The Hitman'. He's right up Pacquiao's alley.
Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum says negotiations will begin in the New Year. Pacquiao says he wants it to happen, and so does Hatton. The Philippines versus Manchester. It could be magnificent.