BBC BLOGS - Ben Dirs
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
« Previous | Main | Next »

Hatton still chasing the dragon

Post categories:

Ben Dirs | 14:50 UK time, Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Boxers don't take kindly to being given advice by non-boxers. Non-boxers, according to boxers, know nothing of boxing. And most of the time they're right.

When it comes to retirement, boxers are particularly sensitive to counselling from outside their tribe. "Everyone's become an expert about me," said Ricky Hatton after his devastating defeat to Manny Pacquiao in May, "but it's my decision." Yet when it comes to retirement, boxers so often get it wrong.

"A fighter knows when to quit," Chris Eubank told BBC Sport last year, wilfully ignoring the stacks of evidence to the contrary. Joe Louis didn't know when to quit. Muhammad Ali didn't know when to quit. Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Julio Cesar Chavez, Evander Holyfield - none of them knew when to quit.

Then there's Greg Page, a former heavyweight world champion who was buried the day after Hatton's defeat to Pacquiao in Las Vegas.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions

Page, a sparring partner of Ali, retired at the age of 34 in 1993, only to embark on a comeback three years later. Like legions of fighters before him, he thought he knew when to quit - and then changed his mind.

In 2001, at the age of 42, Page was knocked into a coma by 24-year-old opponent Dale Crowe. He never fully recovered.

"If you don't quit, you'll get it eventually," Holyfield told me once, but what he meant by "it" is open to interpretation.

Another fighter who thought he knew when to quit is Freddie Roach, the American trainer who masterminded Pacquiao's two-round demolition of Hatton.

"Knockouts like that are not good for people," said Roach, who suffers from Parkinson's disease exacerbated by boxing, after Hatton's devastating defeat.

"I was told to retire by my trainer and I fought five more fights without him. I lost four of them, so my trainer was probably right."

Roach, like Hatton a rough-and-tumble fighter who was prepared to take two punches to land one of his own, called on Manchester's former light-welterweight king to pack it in after the loss to Pacquiao. Other notables, from Henry Cooper to John Conteh, followed suit.

Hatton, not wishing to go out flat on his back, eyes flickering on and off like a busted lightbulb, has ignored them. What do Cooper and Conteh know about getting out at the right time, Hatton might have thought. Not much, but then that's the point.

Given boxing's track record, his decision to fight on is hardly surprising, but that doesn't make it any less baffling to the non-boxer.

Hatton was knocked cold by Manny Pacquiao inside two rounds in Las Vegas last MayHatton was knocked cold by Manny Pacquiao inside two rounds in Las Vegas last May

Unlike Page, Hatton has millions in the bank. He has a loving family, a glamorous girlfriend, a young son. Plus, against Mexico's two-weight world champion Juan Manuel Marquez, a 36-year-old pumped up featherweight and his likely opponent, Hatton will have nothing much to gain and everything to lose. But if Hatton's not a boxer, what exactly is he?

He has spoken of becoming the "greatest promoter in the world", but hearing you're the greatest promoter in the world has nothing on being told "There's Only One Ricky Hatton". Over and over again, by tens of thousands, while you're up there under lights.

"Success in the ring," Barry McGuigan recently told BBC Sport, "is like a Class A drug." Which is why Hatton is still chasing the dragon, and why that highest of highs will no doubt remain elusive.

For all the hype surrounding his bouts on American soil (nine in total), Hatton's personal Everest was his defeat of Kostya Tszyu in Manchester in June 2005. Despite his protestations, he's been descending ever since.

No-one who was present will forget that clammy Sunday morning at the MEN Arena, when Hatton ploughed Tszyu into the canvas to claim the IBF light-welterweight crown. Just as no-one will forget the manner in which he did it.

Pressurising, mauling, wrestling - it was what Hatton did best. Unfortunately, against slicker, and less shopworn, fighters than the 35-year-old Tszyu, Hatton's brawling just didn't cut it.

The unmistakable signs of very real decline were there for all to see in the summer of 2008, when Juan Lazcano, a career lightweight, rocked Hatton to his boots in a bona-fide tear-up at the City of Manchester Stadium.

After that fight, Hatton got himself a new trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr, and convinced himself he was a fighter reborn with an easy win over Paulie Malignaggi. Pacquiao would disabuse him of that notion in brutal fashion.

So Hatton was found wanting on the biggest stage - outclassed by Floyd Mayweather Jr, demolished by Pacquiao - but then there's no shame in that.

The only shame will be to see him back in the ring, with nothing left to prove, except perhaps to himself. All that any true fan can hope for is that it's merely one for the road.

As well as my blogs, you can follow me when I'm out and about at http://twitter.com/bendirs1


Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Ben

    Excellent blog

    I am disappointed to hear this news not because i don't like Hatton i loved him he WAS great but i just do not understand what he will be trying to prove.

    The only blemishes on Hattons record are against 2 guys who are going to go down as true legends of the sport, as you quite rightly said "no shame in that".

    I wish i was in Hattons position no money worries for the rest of his life, a loving girlfiend and son and a fine legacy to look back on. To come back is crazy i just hope that it doesn't turn sour for him because as we all know boxing is dangerous and when you have been hit like Hattons been hit it could spell disaster.

    Good luck Ricky although i think you are mad.

  • Comment number 2.

    Im a huge Hatton fan and hes given us some great moments, but having been knocked out and beaten convincingly in his last two fights its got to be time to sit back and enjoy himself. If hes looking to fight Manny or Floyd again, hes on a hiding to nothing the gulf in class just cant be made up for in heart and training.

    Take it easy Ricky, you've earned it!

  • Comment number 3.

    This is the best thing I've read on the BBC website in a long while, nice one Ben.
    It seems crazy that us mere mortals can see the pointlessness of Hatton getting back into the ring - in fact everyone seems to be able to see it except the man himself.
    I wonder what his girlfriend thinks of it all, especially giiven how distressed she was at the Pacquiao fight when her man was on the canvas.

  • Comment number 4.

    Interesting descion by Hatton, but a bad one at that. He's beaten some fantastic boxers in his career, (Tsyzu, Castillo, Mallinaggi, Urango and Collazo but to name a few). He did say this would be his last but how many times did Sugar Ray Leonard come out retirement then retire straight away and then come back again. The same with Roy Jones Jr. Its a big mistake. He should retire no matter what after this and focus on promotion. Hes had some great cards and I enjoy his shows.

  • Comment number 5.

    Great article Ben, despite being a Manc, i've never been caught up in Hatton, like you say he dined out on Tszyu defeat for a while, and that fight smacked of Tszyu not giving up when he should have.

    Lazcano was supposed to be a pay day for Hatton but he made extremely hard work of even that.

    One thing is for certain, Hatton is a real character, and his style is such that any return fight will be great to watch, i just don't think if i was him i'd be getting back in the ring.

  • Comment number 6.

    Surely henry Cooper knows a lot about quitting at the top. Didn't he retire immediately he lost his British Title to Joe Bugner

  • Comment number 7.

    Sorry the man is a Boxer, this is his profession. He is 31 years of age.Not 41. I know his personal style of walking through punches to get to his man will have had more of an affect on his body then say Floyed Mayweather and there have been issues raised over his diet inbetween fights. Valid points yes. However I do not blame Ricky for wanting to get back into the ring. He lost to the two best p4p fighters in the world. Should Migual Cotto retire at 29 since losing to Pac man and margarito? Nope. These guys are fighters simple as and in my mind a 31 year is not over the hill in that weigh range just yet (please refer to manny pacquiao and floyd mayweathers age)
    IF however he is clearly passed it in his next fight I believe he will hang his gloves up. I just hope that is not the case.

  • Comment number 8.

    hatton is the worst type of fighter to make comebacks! If you have a bit of class you can get away with it for a fight or two, but when heart is all you got! I'm afraid it usually ends in disaster.

  • Comment number 9.

    paul - Well, that's arguable. He was 36 at the time and had been knocked out eight times in a 17-year career. Most would think Cooper went on a bit too long.

    davepoolfan - Personally, I don't think a boxer's age is relevant - in boxing terms, Hatton is an 'old' 31, just as Mayweather is a 'young' 32. Hatton gets hit a lot, Mayweather doesn't. Jermain Taylor is 'only' 31, but very few people will be wishing for him to carry on fighting after his last two defeats.

  • Comment number 10.

    With some fighters I think it becomes obvious when they have had their day, their skills are diminished and its generally time to call it a day.

    Guys like Jones who would have easily beat Green in his day and Holyfield who would have comfortably beat the likes of Ruiz,Donald, Valuev etc should realise that its time to hang them up.

    With Hatton I dont entirely agree because I think had he met Paquiao, Mayweather or any other elite fighter at any stage of his career the results would have been similar - he was simply outmatched as much as being "past it".

    It wasnt all that long ago that he was impressive against Malinaggi which is the sort of standard of fighter that Hatton should be bracketed with. I respect him for aiming for the top but unfortunately he doesnt have the style or ability to beat the truly elite guys. Its not because hes lost it - its because he just never had it.

    The other thing is this "got nothing to prove argument" - its true in some cases of boxers refusing to retire or making an ill fated comeback but it isnt the same for each boxer. For starters I think that Hatton does actually have something to prove - namely that he can mix it with an elite fighter. Unfortunately as I said before its beyond his capabilities to acheive this. The second thing is he does have something to prove to show that he can still compete and hasnt lost it. Its articles like this that are the very fuel that give these fighters something to prove. I fully agree that Hatton has reached as high as he will ever go but I dont think that this sould stop him from still competing if e wants to and believes he has something to offer. He will never beat Mayweather or Pcquiao but guys like Bradley, Diaz even Khan would provide stiff tests and I dont think would be beyond him to win. If the attitude is quit once youve gone as far as you can then boxers wold be retiring after winning their first belt.

    If mentally the scars of a heavy defeat have healed then I dont have a problem with him giving it a go if he himself feels up for it. I dont believe this to be a one size fits all scenario where he automatically becomes an Ali or Holyfield - losing to guys who couldnt have lasted a few rounds with the in their peak. Its natural for people to fear for their favourite fighters though and theres probably nothing worse in sport than watching your favourite fighter or a once great fighter getting beaten around the ring by someone with half his talent. In this respect I fully understand the sentiments.

    Invariably after a defeat, especially a KO, the bandwagon will start to roll and call for retirement but I see people calling for top fighters like Cotto to retire just because he lost to a fantastic fighter and I think this is nonsense. Cotto is a top fighter and still has much to offer. People were also engraving the tombstones for Holyfield when he fought Tyson instead of retiring and Ali when he fought Foreman. In both these cases the fighters proved they still had it and while theres no doubt they both continued on for too long after it does show that sometimes fighters do know better and each case is unique.

    Incidentally Im also not sure I agree with the theory that a quick (but heavy) KO is worse than something like a sustained 12 round beating. I know I would rather have been Hatton against Pacquiao than Cotto.

    Good article though which raises some interesting points - I just think that some of the issues above need to be onsidered aswell. Hatton is finished as an elite fighter (he never was one) but he may well be competitive in a lower bracket. Some might feel this is a waste of time and a step down but at the end of the day he will make good money and still believes he has what it takes and wants to prove the doubters wrong. IF he were to get beat by a guy like Salita, Prescott, Kotelnik then yes its clear hes past it but I dont think theres any evidence of that as of yet.

  • Comment number 11.

    Ben,

    An excellent article and agree witrh everything you have said.

    Even if hatton wins he gains nothing (except a larger bank balance, which is already more than large enough), if hatton loses it only dents his reputation further and may have long term health implications.

    Ricky you have been wonderful for the sport of boxing in this country, sadly though, your time is up

  • Comment number 12.

    Can't help but feel pretty queasy at the news.

  • Comment number 13.

    Ben, this is easily one of the best blogs I have read on the BBC so congrats on that. You have stayed objective which is excellent.

    For me Hatton has been in decline since Kosta. Most of his performances have lacked and he has made hard work of too many opponents who weren't world beaters such as Lazcano, Collazo, Urango etc who are reasonable to good quality but certainly not the best. Even Maussa he looked bad till the great KO. The only good performance was against a completely shot Castillo.

    Floyd gave him a boxing lession, Pacman destroyed him. He has nothing to prove (or could prove now) and no way his body, style, stamina can improve now. What about ring rust after a long break, what about the massive weight he will have to shed. Who on earth will he fight that will be a legitimate challenge to rank alongside previous opponents? I think any fighter is now a danger to Hatton and he is in a lose lose situation.

    Totally agree with you Ben on the boxing age thing. Hatton has got hit his whole career. Add the fact he has terrible conditioning outside the ring he is a very old boxer.

  • Comment number 14.

    How disappointing. Being a huge fan of Ricky, I struggle with the point of announcing another fight and also question the motivation behind it.

    I can't believe he will be approaching this fight with the same determination of previous ones and coupled with the extra weight to cut before he can start his usual 12 week boot camp, I can't see him getting into the same shape (mental as well as physical) as he was about half a dozen fights ago.

    I think he should accept that his greater strengths lie outside the ring, not inside.

  • Comment number 15.

    Hatton's two defeats were against the best fighters of his generation. He should have no shame in calling time on his career, even if his bout against Pacquiao goes down as his last. He was never destined to be the greatest boxer of all time - I'll remember him as much for his character outside the ring as his tenacity on it. Carrying on is foolish pride and the pursuit of something that has forever gone beyond his reach. I only hope that he, or a person whose opinion he DOES value, comes to their senses before he does further damage to his body and legacy.

  • Comment number 16.

    Great blog (as usual!) and I, like anyone with any sense, agree that Ricky Hatton has nothing to prove to anyone...except himself - and that may be the problem.
    With his best days behind him, it's only downhill from here and what a tragedy it would be if something serious happened to him. However, there is every chance that he may have 1 or 2 more fights against big names who are also over-the-hill, win them and get some sort of closure....not to mention a few extra quid (not that he needs the money). Good luck to him whatever he decides to do.

  • Comment number 17.

    Good blog Ben.

    Darren Gough just lifted half of your blog on his Talksport radio show, funny think was i didn't hear him credit you with it!

  • Comment number 18.

    He should have a farewell fight against a non puncher and call it a day. His poor condition between fights has caught up with him. There are no fights out there which make sense for him, the likes of Pacquiao and Cotto are too good for him, and beating anybody else will hardly add to his legacy. He's loaded and should just keep to the promoting.

  • Comment number 19.

    Calzaghe showed him how to do it - bow out gracefully that is, after that your just trying to repair a tarnished reputation when your already on a slippery slope. I don't know what it is with boxers thinking boxing is like a fine wine, that is they get better with age. To me, who knows next to nothing about boxing, the opposite seems to me more like the truth!?!

  • Comment number 20.

    "Plus, against Mexico's two-weight world champion Juan Manuel Marquez, a 36-year-old pumped up featherweight and his likely opponent, Hatton will have nothing much to gain and everything to lose. But if Hatton's not a boxer, what exactly is he?"

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    If Marquez is a pumped up featherweight then you're doing a HUGE disservice to his victories @ lightweight over Juan Diaz @ Casamayor. He knocked out the young lion of the division and beat Casamayor, who was a top 5 rated 5 year stalwart of the 135lb category.

    Hatton doesn't have anything to prove to us, but maybe just maybe this is something he's doing for himself? Something to put the ghosts of the Pacquiao fight to rest etc? Marquez is a future Hall of Famer, is probably one of the best counter punchers in the sport (currently) and it seems you're vastly underrating him?

    Don't know if you've looked recently, but isn't Marquez rated by The Ring (whose rankings hold far more weight than your alphabet organisations) @ #5? If he beats Marquez it would be a massive feather in his cap.

    Hatton isn't fighting on for financial reasons, if he says the hunger's still there then who is anyone to doubt him?

    Still can't believe you belittled Marquez, a warrior of modern times, in such a way

  • Comment number 21.

    Few things i gotta pick the writer up on. Firstly ' Juan Lazcano, a career lightweight, rocked Hatton to his boots in a bona-fide tear-up'. Hatton won the fight by 10, 8 and 12 rounds on judges cards in what was a total shut on of a fight for me and obviously the Judges. Stating Lazcano rocked him to his boots is a little dramatical, basically he caught Hatton with one meaningful shot over twelve rounds. Pacman was caught by several meaningful shots by Cotto but no one is calling for Manny's retirement. The coments about Tyszu are a little harsh for me as well and take away from Hattons acheivement in that fight. People are quick to forget that Tyszu was widely regarded as one of the best pound for poud fighters and this fight was seen as a stepping stone to a Tyszu V Mayweather mega clash. Tysu was about as slick as they got at the time but this writer makes him sound clumsy and passed it. Lastly IMO there is a lot of histeria around Hatton returning. It was under a year ago that I read may supposes boxing 'experts' predicting a Hatton win against Pacman on the back of his impressive win against Malignaggi. Thats some acheivement in itself. Malignaggi got robbed in a recent outing then went of to impress in avanging that win that there is was al lot of talk about him stepping in to fight Mayweather or Pacman. What Im saying is you just dont loose it all over night. The Hatton that destroyed Malignaggi is still there and would do so again. We all now know that Hatton is not ever going to be able to defeat a Maywetaher or Pacman but there is still a lot of big fights out there for him that I would beleive he would be able to compete in.

  • Comment number 22.

    I really do feel scared by this announcement , Hatton has been to the well too many times , he cant or wont stay in shape between fights and this will be the demise of him I fear.
    I asked on another blog waht happened to the BBBC ruling about a fighter staying in a relative weight ratio in relation to his fighting class as it has never applied to Hatton .
    In this modern age when every fact is known about diet and refuelling Hatton continues to plough his own furrow with Beer bieng his main cross to bear . With 30=40 lbs to lose constantly between fights he must have dieted off a fortune of flab over the years .
    Retire Ricky please before its too late

  • Comment number 23.

    coxy0001 - I'm not trying to belittle Marquez at all, but it's a fact that he's a pumped up featherweight, he fought as a featherweight for the first 13 years of his career and had never fought higher than lightweight before his fight with Mayweather. He's also 36 and has had 56 fights. If Hatton beats him, people will therefore say "so what". If Hatton loses, it will no doubt dent his legacy.

    Boxing B - Here's an excerpt from the Telegraph report of the Hatton-Lazcano fight: 'Billy Graham, Hatton's trainer for the last 15 years, admitted as much. "I was worried. But I always worry. In round 8 or round 10, he rocked Ricky down to his boots.' Weirdly, I must have subconsciously remembered that!

    Yes, Pacquiao was caught with many meaningful shots against Cotto, but then Pacquiao is a former light-flyweight coming up to fight a welterweight, and one of the best welterweights in the world at that.

    Kostya Tszyu was 35 and clearly past his best against Hatton, not as "slick as they get at the time". He'd also only had one fight in two and a half years going into the Hatton contest. Nowhere did I write Tszyu was clumsy, but he may well have been past it. That's not to say it wasn't a great win by Hatton, because it was.

    And no, I never thought Hatton would beat Pacquiao, just as I never thought Hatton would beat Mayweather.

  • Comment number 24.

    I can appreciate WHY Hatton would want to continue. It's not so much that he was KO'd by Manny but that he charged in, abandoning his pre-fight gamepan which had been a focal point of the 24/7 programme and he'll want to show people there's more to him than his face first kamikaze capitulation last time out. Can he do it though...who knows?
    There's been much said about the fact that it was all smoke and mirrors against Manny and that Hatton doesn't know any other way to fight but, against Lazcano, he comfortably outboxed him for five rounds before bowing to public opinion and returning to the gung-ho style of old.
    Against Malignaggi, he showed that the re-vamped style he was working on with Floyd Mayweather Snr was effective but then reverted to bullying Malignaggi around the ring once Paulie went into "terrified" mode and hatton knew there was little danger.
    One has to ask why Hatton would spend so much time working on the jab and head movement if his gameplan was always to charge in straight away against Manny (the worst double bluff of all time?). Doubtless the pre-fight tensions between him and Mayweather Snr had a part to play in his downfall, but I can see why he doesn't want to be remembered for being sparko on the canvas for five minutes.
    Sadly, I'm not sure that he has what it takes to recapture anything like his old form. I'm sure he can make the weight and look like a million dollars but in the in end, I think it will be no more than a car with a shiny Ferrari body and the motor of a hairdryer under the bonnet.
    Hatton knows how to sell a fight and the faithful will flock blindly to wherever the fight is held but, it's not something I really want to see (Although like, many, I'm sure morbid curiosity will have us peeking through our crossed fingers praying that he comes through unscathed..unless you're a real ghoul)
    To echo the sentiments of many, don't do it Ricky.

  • Comment number 25.

    GREAT BLOG BEN - I agree with you wholeheartedly. I'm not suprised after a glittering career Hatton wants to give it one last go. Sadly he is not the fighter he once was and he could end up with a row of 3-4 L's on his record and further health implications.

    Hattons career has been shortened by ballooning between fights no doubt about it.

    Nice work keep it up.

  • Comment number 26.

    Totally agree with you Ben, Hatton has nothing to prove by fighting Marquez. He's acheived everything he is going to - he's not going for another world title run is he? Personally I think he over-achieved in the first place (based on talent) by becoming the No.1 light welter in the world. I'm not knocking the guy, he's taken his place in the history of british boxing and i respect what he's achieved, but without his fan base, I don't think he would have had that number of big money U.S. fights. I can understand he doesn't want to go out on a loss though, but I think he's well on the slide now. There are serious question marks about this punch resistance being totally gone. Also, sorry to be a pedant, but surely he has had six fights in the US, not nine? (Collazo, Urango, Castillo, Mayweather, Malignaggi and Pacquao). Unless you are uncluding his undercard fights for Naz at the very start of his career when he was an unknown?

  • Comment number 27.

    People also seem to be forgetting that Hatton has been rocked plenty of times against much lesser fighters. He was busted up and shook against Thaxton, on the floor against Magee, hanging on for dear lfe against Collazo.

    Lazcano hurt him a bit (thats what happens when you get hit in the head) but Hatton has always fought like that and has always had spots of bother in his fights as he likes to mix it up. After Lazcano he was comfortable against Malinaggi who granted, is not a puncher but still was a solid LWW.

    People seem to be fearing for Hattons life here - I certainly dont see it as being that bad. Hes been well beaten by the best and will almost certainly lose to the elites but I can understand him feeling that hes got enough in his locker to still fight against solid opponents. Some will say why bother? but its his own decision. Its when he starts getting beaten around by guys who are well below his league that you know the game is up.

    Too often in boxing a loss marks the ineviteable question - "where does X go from here, should X retire?, nothing left to prove etc". The same thing happened after Mayweather - everyone from the Lennox Lewis to your local barman was saying time to hang them up Ricky - 2 fights later hes facing the prp best.

    Same thing with Mosely - a loss to Cotto and its all over - 1 year later hes just dismantled Margarito and is in the hunt for a fight against Mayweather.

    Old man Hopkins loses a contentious split to Calzaghe - time to retire - 6 months later hes just destroyed the next big thing.

    The problem with Hatton was he was fighting out of his depth. Had he been matched against fighters in his own league I dont think there would be half the clamour.

  • Comment number 28.

    Good article and agree with pretty much all of it.

    I think the last sentance is perhaps the most important. If he feels he has something to proove to himself and is not fighting for the money, glamour, attention etc then to be honest why not? If he is lookng to exorcise some demons from the manny fight and picks a suitable fight then it may be good for him mentally. As with everyone, not just world class sportman, you only ever have to proove yourself to your self. It may just be something he has to do for himself.

    having said that, a loss could be terrible both mentally and physically. ALso the only fight i think that would interets people is a tear up with khan.

  • Comment number 29.

    Ben Dirs: Here's an excerpt from the Telegraph report of the Hatton-Lazcano fight: 'Billy Graham, Hatton's trainer for the last 15 years, admitted as much. "I was worried. But I always worry. In round 8 or round 10, he rocked Ricky down to his boots.' Weirdly, I must have subconsciously remembered that!
    _________________________________________________________________________

    "remembered" - I think you mean copied. Your articles invariably are a patchwork of comments, paragraphs, phrases etc taken from other sources. You should be called Ben "The Quilt" Dirs

  • Comment number 30.

    Jack - "The Quilt", I like it, sounds like a Damon Runyan character. But if you are going to come on here accusing me of plagiarism, you should probably give a few examples. Got any?

  • Comment number 31.

    I have followed Hatton since he was an amateur, one of the most hardworking fighters of my generation. I disagree with some comments about Hatton being “past it” on the basis he’s lost 2 fights from 47 to supposedly the two best pound for pound fighters on the planet! Cotto was absolutely demolished for no less than 11 rounds by PacMan should he quit?! Rickys record of 32 knockouts from 45 wins speaks for itself! He may not have anything left to prove within the sport but does Pacquiao have anything left to prove or Mayweather?!? Why must a man give up his lifes work, the thing he loves just because others think he should?! Whats wrong with getting behind one of the best British boxing talents of certainly my generation?!??! I welcome this fight and should it happen I will certainly be glued to it no matter who the opponent may be! Hatton may not be the prettiest fighter to watch but he’s heart, determination and work rate are second to none! In my eyes he’s a genuine Englishman that loves the sport of Boxing….. he’s provided the division with some great fights and great entertainment….. so im backing Hatton all the way!!

  • Comment number 32.

    Very nice blog! Well Said!!

  • Comment number 33.

    There is always a point to prove, Hatton got flattened by two superior boxers, but coming back to fight Marquex? A mistake, he needs to beat Pacman or Mayweather to improve his legacy and this is highly unlikely.

  • Comment number 34.

    Was one not enough?

  • Comment number 35.

    Jack - I'm no academic expert so if you are I bow to you. However plagiarism is the passing off of other's work as your own. Therefore as Ben credits the Telegraph as the source you haven't as yet offered any evidence.

  • Comment number 36.

    I don't see why he shouldnt make a comeback, he has only lost 2 fights and they were against the p4p top 2.

    Ok fair enough the KO by Pacman was pretty brutal but other fighters have suffered bad KOs and comeback, take Khan for example, although Khan does have time on his hands.

    But look at other fighters like Cotto for example who has lost his last few fights. He was beat up by Pacman for 11 rounds in his last fight but no one questions him fighting on.

  • Comment number 37.

    I just don't get it. I've read hardly any comments in support of this. I've been watching fights since 1977 and i've never before felt the "oh ....no...." that this makes me feel about an impending fight. Good luck to Ricky but...

  • Comment number 38.

    Jack - Yeh, but that's not actually plagiarism is it, that's just saying a phrase that someone else has already said. Next you'll be accusing my mum and dad of plagiarism because they called me Ben. Can't imagine there are many Ben Dirs in the world though...

  • Comment number 39.

    If Hatton had a realistic chance in defeating either Mayweather or Pacquiao I could see the reason for his comeback; to avenge his defeat and restore his legacy that these boxers tarnished. But seeing as this is not possible, and is unlikely to happen, I see little reason in making a return. There is a suggestion that Hatton will fight Marquez as his comeback fight. But I do wonder. What will a win against Marquez prove that we don't already know about Hatton? The risks outweigh any potential benefits in my opinion.

    I can only offer one other valid reason for Hatton returning and that is if he wanted to take his career to a different direction i.e. fight as a light-middleweight. But considering his age, and his long lay-off, I think this is highly improbable. It would be interesting particularly since Hatton is often accused of being one dimension and lacking a plan B. A change of weight would demonstrate he had some variety. What's more he could afford to eat a few more pies!

  • Comment number 40.

    I don't think Hatton feels he has anything to prove, he just wants to go out on a high, and with a win.

    He doesn't want people to have their last memories of him being flat out on the canvass, and I can understand that. He probably also wants to have one last goodbye to his fans.

  • Comment number 41.

    Ben: Weak analogy.
    Maybe when relying on comments made by other people you should, like the Telegraph perhaps say: As Hatton's former trainer Billy Graham observed "..."
    Just a thought.

  • Comment number 42.

    Montgenevre: I'm no academic expert so if you are I bow to you. However plagiarism is the passing off of other's work as your own. Therefore as Ben credits the Telegraph as the source you haven't as yet offered any evidence.
    ________________________________________________________________________

    The Quilt did not cite the Telegraph in the original article. It was only after someone challenged him on his usuage of the phrase "rocked Hatton to his boots" that suddenly a reference to the Telegraph article appeared. It was rather convenient that he had the article to hand to defend 'his' comment.

  • Comment number 43.

    Jack - I didn't cite it because I didn't take it from the Telegraph report. I went and had a look at a few reports of the fight, to make sure I hadn't imagined Hatton taking a few big blows from Lazcano (after a challenge from Boxing B, above). And in case you didn't know, Billy Graham is not the originator of the phrase "rocked to his boots", it's fairly common currency in boxing.

  • Comment number 44.

    I don't know why every one is writing off Hatton, he courageous, only 31 and has loads of respectable opponents that he CAN beat. Timothy Bradley, Amir Khan, J M Marquez and Zab Judah!! Wht should he retire if he cant go away with huge PPV fights like Khan which I think he can win. As long as Khan ain't on steroids after hes last performance against Salita, the issue with Pacman and the fact that Roach hsa had a fighter caught on roids b4!! LOL thats a joke guys, dont persue the comments hey. Anyway Hatton young, tough n with heart he can prevail with his aggressive but simple attacking fight thesis!

  • Comment number 45.

    Wow, interesting and well written! Are we sure this is fit for the bbc website? Seriously though Ben, good stuff. I personally agree with everything you have written. Hatton had a go at the best and came up short, no disgrace, i admire him for not shirking a fight but he'll gain nothing by getting back in the ring. I'd leave with my head held high, millions in the bank and a loving family but like you said, what do us non-boxers know?

  • Comment number 46.

    "Ha££on $ti££ cha$ing the £ragon"
    Hope he remains mentally able of spending it afterwards.

  • Comment number 47.

    p.s Roach has had a fighter caught on steroids b4 tough, thats a fact

  • Comment number 48.

    I will be watching without a doubt however I really dont want to have to, I hope he doesn't fight Marquez as we will see him flat on his back for a 3rd time, take on Malignaggi again it will be a tough fight to win but at least you wont get hurt and hes a better fighter than when you first fought

  • Comment number 49.

    ben, re jack - just let it go.

  • Comment number 50.

    Also, have now finished reading the comments. Jack, it's pretty serious stuff to go around accusing someone of plagerism and unlike montgenevre (35), I have no doubt that you are anything but an academic expert making such a claim with little or no evidence. You've given one weak example which is pretty minimal evidence to make a claim like 'Your articles invariably are a patchwork of comments, paragraphs, phrases etc taken from other sources.'
    Yes Ben used a line that was used in a telegraph article but it's not an unheard-of phrase and he's edited the article to give a reference just to be sure (purely on the basis of your complaint I'm guessing.) On the whole I think this is one of the more original and interesting articles I have seen on the BBC website in a while and therefore can't really understand such a negative reaction to it from you.

  • Comment number 51.

    Ben, I can appreciate what you are saying, but I think Ricky's reasons for fighting on are also fully understandable. His legacy as one of the great British fighters was secured long ago, but, as a proud man, it would clearly hurt him a lot to go out on a second round knockout as emphatic as the one he suffered. For many people, one of the lasting memories of Ricky Hatton will be him laid out flat on his back staring at the stars, and that's not the way he wants to go out. The fact of the matter is that Ricky has only suffered one terrible defeat thus far in his career: the Mayweather knockout sure wasn't a good one, but it wasn't the sort that could have knocked all his stuffing out. Getting wobbled by Lazcano is not really too much of a concern - Ricky's chin has never been absolutely concrete, and his way of fighting is always going to put him at risk of being stunned. If he gets knocked out again, and badly, in the next fight, then I think calls of retirement are fully justified, but as yet, I think Ricky Hatton still has one big fight left in him.

  • Comment number 52.

    Ricky Hatton, in my mind, can never be seen as a top-class fighter. He's too much of a 'look at me i'm one of the lads' to be taken seriously as a world-class fighter.

    He's been pasted by Pacqiuao who must have been thinking 'who is this guy? what is he playing at?' and felt insulted, didn't really trouble Mayweather (lets be honest) and had a high beating Costa Coffee (sorry Tzyu), but apart from that, he's just another fighter on the merry-go-round. I doubt many boxing fans outside the UK have heard of him. He's a pub fighter.
    Just give up before it gets more embarassing.

  • Comment number 53.

    What does he expect to achieve?

    Hatton was at best a fairly questionable mediocre fighter who got embarassed the 2 times he fought someone decent.

    Quit and enjoy retirement.

  • Comment number 54.

    Ant Brooking: "Cotto was absolutely demolished for no less than 11 rounds by PacMan"

    Honestly, I didn't see it like that. I thought Manny was having a lot of trouble in the early few rounds before he adjusted his timing and angles and started to slip Miguel's jab. That won't be as easy against PBF (assuming they ever get it together)...

  • Comment number 55.

    Decent blog Ben as always, they certainly get people talking, Lol
    Perhaps a bit more on the negative side for me. Have read Jim Watts take on this and felt he was a bit more even handed over Ricky's decision and what he's achieved.

  • Comment number 56.

    what's the point in him coming back? er, maybe he enjoys boxing, since he is a boxer. would make sense.

  • Comment number 57.

    Ben,

    Is his weight gain unusual or have others 'retired' and for want of a better way of putting it, gone up a few divisions, but been successful again at their old weights?

    Great Blog

    Cris

  • Comment number 58.

    Cris - It's not so much his weight gain since his 'retirement', more his weight gain between every fight he's had. But he must be about 14st at the moment, which is four stone above his fighting weight, and that can't be easy to shift in four or five months. To be honest, I can't think of many other fighters, past or present, who have ballooned in the way Hatton has between fights. Heavyweights, yes, light-welterweights, no.

  • Comment number 59.

    Well I will be one of few that says I am up for a comeback. What are the arguments for him not coming back, health, money, reputation? Health reasons is a load of nonsense, with the medical care available today, even people like Holyfield can fight. Although I like Hatton, I think he likes the money more than some of you think (not that he should not), but I do not think that is the sole reason for wanting to come back. Who wants to lose and retire in a 2nd round stoppage no matter who the opponent?!

    You have to remember who Hatton has lost to, possibly the best two fighters in the last 20 years at least. What is wrong with Hatton fighting other top 10 pound for pound fighters and achieving success, it just puts him in the class of Joe Calzaghe, good just not the best. If you why I think that of Calzaghe, he did not fight the best in there prime, due to lack of reputation or avoidance, one or the other.

    BRING BACK THE HITMAN!

  • Comment number 60.

    Ben, the Hitman does look big at the moment and I never liked his conditioning. However, he put 4 stone on in just over 6 months, no reason why he can not lose it either! We can have a go at some people like John Hartson for his conditioning, but some peoples genetics are like that. The Hitman's body obviously responds well to training and resents rest.

  • Comment number 61.

    Ben

    Thanks for the reply, I will keep an eye on the story and look forward to your blog if they announce an actual fight.

    Hope it does not happen though.

    Cris

  • Comment number 62.

    Andrew Price - Not sure we can put Hatton's weight-gain down to genetics, he openly admits he sticks away loads of takeaways and Guinness when he's not fighting.

  • Comment number 63.

    I saw Hatton today to say he looked 45 and 15 stone is being nice. Since he could not beat a world class opponent and did not even train seriously last time (treating his loyal fans with the deep uncaring contempt of Flintoff leading an Ashes tour) I fail to see why anyone would want to follow him. His attitude after that pathetic effort was oh well aren't I popular!

    On genetics many people struggle to gain weight no matter what they eat. Indeed the Govt having extrapolated a massive percentage of obese children only to find that the numbers are not rising despite fitness levels falling. Drink I think distorts this as I know a couple of guys who give up for a month and drop 20 pounds (they have it to lose and show their alcoholism with frequent abstentions).

    Regardless Hatton's weight gain is prodigious even for the most genetically determined piler on. He looked positively ill today.

    The real worry with Hatton is that he is not staying fit at all. The worry is that like an ageing Ali his means to drop his weight become things he should not do. After all he'll have to work hard merely to get fit enough to burn calories.

    I just wish he'd fought Khan last year as I had a 100 at evens I doubt I'd get 1/20 Khan now.

  • Comment number 64.

  • Comment number 65.

    Some of these comments are a joke as is some of this blog, hatton is 31 years old and still will be in the summer, he has been beaten by two boxers who are ranked 1 and 2 comfortably on the ring magazines pound 4 pound list.

    Hatton got knocked out both times but he didn't get punished, Shane Mosley suffered two defeats to the late Vernon Forrest and 5 months later he beat Oscar De La Hoya, for the second time and at that time only Mosley and the great Felix Trinidad had beat him.

    There are only TWO boxers, that have fought world class opposition more than once and are undefeated and at/near the top end of their divisions and that is Mayweather and Chad Dawson, boxers have been written off then come back to win titles etc, like Bernard Hopkins, although as you mentioned it doesn't always pay off, but you make out that Joe Louis had a choice, all the others you mentioned fought till they were around 40 or more, but hatton is 31.

    Maybe he hasn't looked after himself as much as he should have, I doubt he is passed it and I personally cant wait for him to come back and prove these doubters (including you) wrong, I wonder what your blog will say come 6-8 months time.

  • Comment number 66.

    before people start sayign there are more than two very good undeafteted fighters who have been truelly tested.. 1) Froch got lucky against Jermain Taylor and although he was excellent against Pascal we wont know how good Direll is until two more rounds of the super 6(5)
    2)Lucian Bute best wins came in 06 and 07 against james toney and sakio bika and other than that has'nt fought anyone special

    3)Abraham's best win is over Jermain Taylor who going into the fight had lost 3 of the last 4, Edison Miranda is good but not great.

    **** I am not counting the lower weight classes

  • Comment number 67.

    Loved to watch Hatton fight cos he was all heart, agro and fitness, that got him thro most of his fights. BUT he got the bug again thro watching some of his promotion fighters and he thinks he can probably do better in the ring..Well Ricky is massively overweight and is probably bored out of his mind and thinks he can turn the clock back with his massive weight loss programme like in the old days. Well old lad i hope someone in your family decides to beat you over the head daily with a rolled up copy of the Ring magezine until you see the cataclysmic mistake you will be making... 'we love ya' so stop being a loony tune... you aint got involved with that crook King and you dont need the dosh, so do the managing/promototimg thing cos you dont get bashed doing that,and u get to spend quality time with your friends and family. think hard, cos i for one will not watch shambles, Hossman

  • Comment number 68.

    saying hatton never beat a world class opponent is ridiculous and to say he was never recognised in america is silly aswel ring magazine fighter of the year 2005, ring magazine LWW champion for 4 years, ranked number 4 p4p in 2005 number 8 2006 and number 10 2008, he was no ordinary fighter just lost to the 2 best fighters in a generation which there is no shame in but he was certainly not average as some have said and was recognised as the 4th best fighter in the world at one point which proves the point, he may not have been taken seriously by some snobs but he was one of the best and maybe still is a good fighter at a mere 31 he could realistically be a champion for another 4 years if he wanted to fight on as the LWW class isn't the best and all are gunning for the big fights in the welter weight division so he could be the best of the rest for a while yet and he captures the casual boxing fan which can only be good for boxing in britain

  • Comment number 69.

    Don't do it Ricky. Really admire what you achieved, but listen to your true friends. You've got a great career ahead as a respected commentator, promoter and coach. You've nothing more to prove and everything to lose.

  • Comment number 70.

    The sad thing is, there is no age limit on potentially messing your life up in the ring.

    It can happen anytime, even in your prime - ask Gerald McClellan. Someone should take Ricky to visit that guy. I guarantee he wouldnt get in a ring after that. When Benn beat McClellan, McClellan was taking the kind of punches that Ricky usually has to take to get close in.

    So thats one professional (i.e, a boxer, not a non boxer) who could know more than Ricky ever wants to know. Some people just wont be told though, so sadly, Ricky must do his thing, whether it's bowing out with a win, or dancing to his death.

    I remember Froch once saying that every time you get knocked out, it takes your resistance down that little bit more so that next time, its easier to get knocked out - and once you've been knocked out so many times, the next one may be the last. Ask Jermain Taylor about that one, I'm sure he'll confirm. It's been getting easy for people to knock him out lately. So thats 2, no 3 boxers who have some good advice to give.

    Will he listen? Fat chance (excuse the pun!)

  • Comment number 71.

    Great blog, Ben. I am a big Hatton fan and I for one agree in principle but if he wants to try and go out with a win, fair play to him. He had a great win over Paulie Malignaggi before Pacquaio. His best win in years. A solid win over Marquez is achievable and I for one would like to see it.

  • Comment number 72.

    Best thing you've written in a very long time but must take issue with your reply at No.23:

    "And no, I never thought Hatton would beat Pacquiao, just as I never thought Hatton would beat Mayweather".

    After Hatton beat Paulie Malignaggi, just before Pacquiao beat De La Hoya, you wrote:

    "But all Hatton fans should cross their fingers for a Pacquiao win in a fortnight's time. Any fight against De la Hoya would have to take place no lower than welterweight, and as Hatton has himself admitted in the past, that's not his domain.

    "Filipino superstar Pacquiao, meanwhile, started his career at flyweight and has never fought higher than lightweight. And while he is arguably the finest pound-for-pounder boxing today, you'd have to fancy Hatton's chances at 140lb."

    Think you may have fancied his chances just a bit then.

  • Comment number 73.

    This is a massive risk for Hatton. If it turns out to be Marquez then it will turn into a gruelling war for Ricky and you worry for his safety. One thing he will never lose is that punching power and it could get him out of jail in this one. If Ricky comes out and beats an elite fighter such as Marquez (albeit a lightweight elite), I doubt Ricky will stop there. He has nothing to prove to anybody. He has mixed it with the best of them and just fell short, and Britain loves him because he is just a normal bloke with a great talent. It would be a shame if something went seriously wrong because you can see it happening a mile off. He could go on and fight Del La Hoya in Las Vegas after this and take the spotlight once more and I for one believe that would be much safer fight for him then the hungry warrior Marquez.

  • Comment number 74.

    As Dirty Harry said " a man gotta know his limitations" The trouble with Ricky is he was thought he was top class. If he sticks to more realistic opponents then I'm sure he can make a bit more money but if he fights anyone good he will be humiliated again.

    The same thing will happen to Khan, while his opponents are being carefully chosen from has beens and never will bees then he can make some money but there are a few boxers that Khan will never box unless he has to or it's for a massive final payday.

  • Comment number 75.

    Ricky is a world class fighter. unfortunatley not a world class boxer.
    i hope he sees sense, it would be devaststing to see him get injured and not able to fully enjoy his hard earned retirement.

  • Comment number 76.

    Ricky Hatton has every right & every reason to carry on fighting. In all seriousness he has hardly had a disastrous career. He has only lost 2 fights, both of them being world title fights and both of them being to great champions of the era.

    Had he lost badly to a nonentity (eg Khan v Prescott) I would agree with the concerns about his future, but that is not the case. Take a look at the ratings at Boxrec (boxrec.com)and you will see that he is still ranked number 2 in the world, above Khan and any other European light welterweight.

    If losing a couple of fights to greats earmarked the end of a career we would never have seen the best of the likes of Vladimir Klitchko (3 losses), Bernard Hopkins (5 losses), Roy Jones Jnr (6 losses), Evander Holyfield (5 losses)....the list goes on and on.

    What is important is that Ricky Hatton has the heart, the courage & the skills to fight on and he has at least 2 years of high level boxing in him yet. Mark my words, he will win a genuine world title again and the crowds clammering to dismiss him as a real champion will shuffle into the darkness...

    More power to your uppercut Ricky!!

  • Comment number 77.

    "After his...defeat to ...Pacquiao"? Do you mean his defeat by Pacquiao, or after he defeated Pacquiao?

  • Comment number 78.

    I hope it's not simply pride that's keeping Hatton going. We all know how strong an emotion pride is, which can overcome rationality, and as the old saying goes, 'pride comes before a fall'. Hatton won't want to end his career on the bad loss to Pacquiao, but I feel if he fights Marquez he will also lose by k.o., though perhaps in the later rounds.

  • Comment number 79.

    actually Ben Dirs Joe Louis DID know when to quit - he was forced to climb back into the ring as the American government informed him he owed them a fortune in back taxes - the only way he could pay this was by fighting again - also re: Hatton what you've got to remember is that he is just a humble man from a council estate who still enjoys a pint down the pub with his mates - he is doing this comeback FOR THE FANS!!

  • Comment number 80.

    Ben, I think you're pushing the envelop a bit. Hatton wasn't washed up after the Tszyu fight. I agree he's been declining but do not forget exceptional performances (and victories!) against a very tough opponents including, world champions Juan Urango and Luis Collazo - a huge win considering Collazo's size and his (recent) record against the best big welterweights - and Malinaggi. These victories are very significant. Has Hatton declined, I would agree yes, mainly due to the toll of his between-fight lifestyle. But to say he's shot, that's just not possible to tell at this point. We will definately find out more in his next fight though!

  • Comment number 81.

    I for one disagree,

    Personally, I’d like to see him fight again and not for my own selfish reasons as a fan, I’d like to see him fight FOR HIMSELF. People are talking about him like he’s a decrepit 42 year old washed up ex-champ fighting bankruptcy and I find this really disrespectful.

    Ricky has all the right reasons for going into another fight (or two), the main one being he IS wealthy and his heart, not his bank manager, is making the decisions. He IS a better fighter than the one who came out to meet Pacquiao, and I think he just wants to prove that to himself (and maybe the bloggers, journalists and boxing fans who say otherwise).

    You make a good point in saying that he has nothing to gain and everything to lose in fighting Marquez (or the like) and this is one thing I totally agree with, surely a Mayweather re-match would be a decent enough alternative to our now abandoned ‘Fight of the Century’ - it would have all the glitz, glamour and PPV pulling power that Pacquiao’s entirely boring match-up with Clottey will be lacking.

    I’ve no doubt Hatton will be physically and mentally able to a continue his career, do you think people would be saying the same things about Mayweather or Pacquiao if they were in his shoes? - I doubt it - I just hope it’s a victory worthy of redeeming him.

    Good luck in the ring Ricky, whoever your opponent may be.

  • Comment number 82.

    When Marvin Hagler was asked about his contribution to boxing and how he viewed his own legacy, he replied (and I paraphrase) that he would like to be remembered as having never been beaten up, and resisting the self deluding temptation to attempt a comeback. Great advice.

  • Comment number 83.

    81 - a fight with Floyd would be silly he was utterly outclassed, and you say he was on the decline - but he lost to Floyd with a rubbish ref, his fight back after his first defeat was never going to be brilliant and he was outstanding against Paullie then he had a bad camp going into the fight with Manny and was KOd by THE perfect shot in a fight he was never realistically going to win, I dont think hes declined I think we have realised his level is.

  • Comment number 84.

    Although I'm not sure of Rickys ability to technically beat the best as oppose to wrestle boxing them, I always think if his weight and training had not fluctuated so much between fights he could have been better than he was. I just can't imagine Manny for example putting on loads of weight and coming back down for a fight, it needs to be the same level all the time.

  • Comment number 85.

    Many thanks for all your comments - agree or disagree, the chat is always appreciated...

    etienne123 - Haha! Yes, but in my defence, and as you pointed out, I wrote that before Pacquiao destroyed De la Hoya...

    Ryan - If I had said Hatton was washed up after his fight with Tszyu, then I agree, I would have been pushing the envelope. But I didn't, I said: "Hatton's personal Everest was his defeat of Kostya Tszyu in Manchester in June 2005. Despite his protestations, he's been descending ever since." That's not the same as saying he was "washed up", he had some good wins after the Tszyu fight.

    MARTIN - That's a fair point regarding Joe Louis, although he'd already had 58 fights before he retired and was 34, so he probably could have retired earlier than he did.

  • Comment number 86.

    Wow what a debate, and a very articulate blog!

    I am a boxing fan, and being a mancunian I am a Hatton fan. I see the pros and cons in a return to the ring for Ricky, but at the end of the day the decision is for him and his family, and whilst his family do not agree with his decision, they support him nontheless.

    Ricky is a fighter, and fighting is what he knows, and what he does, I have never walked in his shoes, so do not know what it is like to be him, but it is clear that he does not want to go out on a loss, all be it a loss to a pound for pound great. As well as a fighter, he is a born entertainer and is passionate about the game and his fans. This decision cannot have been easy for him and he has taken a good while to think about it. His decision is to fight on, and this is what he will do. I for one will be watching and will be cheering him on, win or lose, what happens in the ring will be up to him and his trainer and whatever he has left in the tank. Time will tell whether or not he has made the right decision, but what is apparent is that to Ricky, this is the right decision.

    Good luck Ricky!

  • Comment number 87.

    Hatton doesn't want to go out with a loss, but he might end up going out with 2 or 3 losses, losses on his record, but more seriously, losses to his long-term health.

    The mistake that Holyfield made was this: he made a promise to one of his young children that he would once again be champ before he gave it up, it was a rash promise and one which endangers his very future as a father. Hatton doesn't need to make any such promises. He has a family who adore him, and fans who have been rewarded with entertaining and difficult fights.

    As Ben said re Roach:

    "I was told to retire by my trainer and I fought five more fights without him. I lost four of them, so my trainer was probably right."

    Hatton is not 'old', but ageing too rapidly for many observers of boxing, whether 'schooled' or not.

    Somewhere inside Hatton, there is a form of Pride burning away, but that Pride should be directed towards his past career, and not at any future glory.

  • Comment number 88.

    Total madness, this plan of Hatton's but then it is his choice. I know it won't end pretty. Calzaghe had it right, go out on top & stay out. There are a lot of fights out there for Hatton but it depends how he wants to play it. He's already rich but if he wants to get richer, he could compete against B or C Level fighters but he can forget it against: Khan, Bradley, Holt etc. They'd all beat him. He could beat someone like Salita so if he wants to escape with his health he'd be better off fighting someone like him. But i get the feeling that for some strange reason this Ricky fellow doesn't care about his health. Despite being so young (31) & having the girlfriend we'd all like to have & having more money than he could spend in 10 lifetimes (i.e. prudent spending). Oh, i tell you, if i were in his shoes, i'd be thinking of becoming a marathon runner to keep fit & doing various charity & philanthropic endeavours & having a grand time with that fine woman of his. But no, all that has to be given to the intellectually-challenged person who doesn't deserve it. Oh well, such is life.

  • Comment number 89.

    Decent blog Ben and a a majority of people have the same viewpoints as in,

    i) He has made millions, he can't be doing it for money.
    ii) He will never beat a P4P legend like Mayweather or Pacman.
    iii) A pressure fighter like him and the awful state of conditioning between fights could lead to him doing some serious harm to himself.

    One burning question that still hasn't been answered is who is going to be his trainer? Billy Graham got a lot of bad press after the Mayweather fight and the prepration was partly blamed along with the referee. Any true boxing fan knows that Hatton got schooled by one class operator in Mayweather. As a result of the Pac defeat Floyd Mayweather senior was blamed, Hatton does love a scapegoat.

    Can he not be honest and say he got beaten by Class A fighters. Hatton was good but not a great. Why can't he just be honest and say he got beaten by better fighters, he has never been near being pound for pound best. That is dillusional.

    I still want to know whose going to be his trainer? whoever it is they'll be blamed after the loss cos if Marquez is picked then I think Hatton will be knocked out again.

  • Comment number 90.

    Ricky hatton just wants to finish on a win and has hand picked marquez as once again ricky will believe he is the bigger stronger man.Thats the only advantage he will have,or will he? ricky said and thought the same with pacman and look what manny did to him haha.

    There is no point to hatton fighting on as he said himself he will only fight one more time and for what exactly? pride? greed? ricky is being selfish and also a bit greedy to expect his fans to once again fork out to watch him when clearly it is a farewell fight and off into retirement he will go after it.

    I for one have never seen hatton as a top fighter as he cannot even box properly.He has no jab and no defence at all.both are basic boxing skills learnt right at the start of a young lads career. Rickys career high was beating Kostya Tszyu for a proper world title but even I realised that he beat a old past his best Tszyu that night,still ricky won well.ever since that fight all his performances have went down hill.

    HATTON WAS NEVER A TOP FIGHTER!!! he had a huge fan base which generated huge money and so promoters were very keen to deal with him and thats why he got big fights in the u.s

    I hope marquez boxes the head off ricky

  • Comment number 91.

    This article raises some good points on Hatton's Past, future and present, with most of the comments providing ample excuse for discussion. I would like to point out (and taking into account you have said no such thing) Ben, that Hatton is far from finished! He has had two defeats, regardless of who they were to, he had only two! Pacquiao has also suffered defeats in fact, three of them. Admittedly two were fairly early on in his career but Erik Morales caught him with a unaanimous decision in 2005. I still think Hatton has very little to prove, but would it hurt for him to have his swan song? I think not, the guy is a walking legend in his own right and will still be in the fight game in one capacity or another long after he hangs up the gloves.

    The main issue is people love to write off a fighter, especially the British, probably because it's easy to sit back on your couch and issue advice to the TV on how you would do it or what you would do! We all know who they are and yes, I myself have been made aware by my girlfriend that I too shout at the TV including such rubbish as "Double up the jab, NO.. Double up the jab and throw a cross... Idiot!". And I have no right to critisize any boxer who has only lost two fights and I don't really think that anyone else does either.

    I say good luck to Hatton he will need it, but I'd bet big money he will entertain us all thoroughly!

  • Comment number 92.

    Its the same old story, hearing a fighter wanting to come back.

    Just like out of a Rocky movie. However, Mr Hatton really has nothing left to prove, and maybe out of boredom he wants to fight on. His heydays are gone, won't ever be in the same class of Mayweather and Pacquaio, its clear...I figure there probably only is one more fight in the Hitman, its a virtual impossible task to get a shot at fighting the best again, because he will probably be at least slightly 'shot' after taking such a beating by Pacquaio.

    Most fighters in history are kind of 'shot' after a defeat like that, or at least fighting for legacy against a big legend of a fighter. Hamed was never the same after Barrera took him to school. The list of boxers like this is endless.

    Tyson was effectively finished after Douglas; Holyfield is such a joke fighting on and on, only dents their reputation by carrying on far too long.

  • Comment number 93.

    Love this blog... Hatton really should give it up now... so what if he fights Marquez and wins, then what? Marquez is finished now anyways so what is he trying too prove!

  • Comment number 94.

    Fighters live in virtual reality - it is so easy to give it 'one more try' -anyone who watched Raging Bull about the biopic of Jake La Motta will see about taking one too many fights in the ring.

    And its sad for the watching fans - I am especially sad that Tyson (as one of his big fans) had to continue long after he was a pathetic shadow of his once great self, for financial security, whereas a boxer like Ricky Hatton certainly doesn't. But because of his reputation as 'The People's champion' he is fighting for at least one more limelight fight not for greatness.

  • Comment number 95.

    I think everyone is reading too much into the Pacman defeat to be honest. I think that if Hatton was to fight him again I think his tactics would be a lot different and it would be a different fight.

    I am not by any stretch of the imagination suggesting that Hatton would have won, he would have still been beaten, but I think that it would have been a better spectacle!

    As everyone says Hattons a brawler, fights with his face blah blah! But it was his own eagerness to assert his power on Pac that led to his downfall! His tactics were completely amateurish! If he felt his way into the fight cautionously, like against Paulie Malignaggi, then I think there would not have been such an embarrassing ending.

    However, to say that Hatton wont come back is premature! Let him have another few fights. The man has only lost to the greatest two fighters in our generation! Dining out on Tszyu? That is a joke...what about demolishing Costillo!?

    Personally I think that Hatton v Shane Mosley would be a belter, but I think the winner of Mosley Berto will be there for a crack at Mayweather!

    There are plenty of good fights out there for him also by guys who have also been outclassed by Mayweather and Pacman! Clotty, Cotto,

  • Comment number 96.

    Boxers do have something called Ego and in hatton's case I believe its a good one.I would do anything to take back the humiliation of my son,girlfriend and family watch me get Knocked out cold by a man my age.I might sound stupid but I believe had hatton done his homework very well,with a good game plan he could have beaten either Mayweather or Pacman.The man only lost two fights and it would be grossly unfair to call it quits just for that reason.Ali,Tyson,Jones all lost more fights than hatton and they are still regarded as the best of all time.I personally think the hitman has good 6 to 7 fights left in him at age 31.

  • Comment number 97.

    I cannot understand why so many people are talking as though Hatton is coming out of retirement, and as though he had two straight defeats. After Mayweather Hatton had two victories before he lost to another p4p great.
    On my other point, to my knowledge, Hatton did not retire, he said he would take a period of rest, spend time with his family and consider his future in the ring. His period of contemplation is over, and his decision is to fight on, a decision that I for one respect. I could understand if like some of the boxers he is being compared with, he had actually retired or given up for a number of years, but his last fight was last year, and this year he wants another.
    So he has put on a few pounds (nothing new there), with training and conditioning this will be remedied. At the end of the day he is only 31 (maybe his liver is aged a bit more!!), and I agree with the others who have said there is still some left in the tank.

  • Comment number 98.

    Put your money on a Marquez KO, easy money!

  • Comment number 99.

    My girl and i were at Rickys last fight in the mgm grand and while it was shocking to see him laid out for what seemed an eternity i can understand why he wants to have another go.Whoever he fights will not have the same explosive power of Pacquiao( no one else has)and after all he is only 31.One more Ricky but leave it at that mate.Anthony, Ireland.

  • Comment number 100.

    I don't think people realise just how big Hatton is in America still. As they see it he lost to the two best fighters in the world but is still up there, whereas we see it as he failed against the best so where else is there.

    I think US fight fans appreciate good fighters and styles more than we do here, here it is all about success only. I think Hatton did ok against Mayweather but was blown away by Pacquiao because he charged forward like a bull on steroids, thinking he could take Pacquiao's best. Since then against Cotto Pacquiao has proved how hard he can hit and people are asking questions about where his un-natural power comes from.

    So to call Hatton a failure at the top and to say there is no point in him continuing is a bit harsh and premature for me. He has only ever lost to one of the best ever in Floyd and freak of nature Pacquiao. I believe the ideal fight for him is to take on Juan Manuel Marquez at Wembley, as they are widely considered the two next best fighters after Flloyd and Pacquiao in and around that divsion.

    If Hatton beats Marquez, he should retire with his head held high and let Marquez have to rebuild to land his dream shot of Pacquiao. If he loses he will know well and truly his time is up and he would've only lost to 3 great fighters. I feel Hatton could pull it off against Marquez as Marquez has not travelled up the weight classes as easily as Pacquiao, and then he should retire, even though I believe he could easily campaign at that level and in my opinion would whup the new and improved Amir Khan.

 

Page 1 of 2

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.