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The Hitman fires a parting shot

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Ben Dirs | 15:19 UK time, Thursday, 7 July 2011

Only a deranged person would walk into their local Kwik-Fit fitter and start abusing all and sundry for not working their way on to an F1 pit crew. Yet when a British sportsperson fails to reach the highest peaks in his or her chosen field, phone-ins and messageboards run thick with invective.

Yet, just as there were people who called Tim Henman a "loser" for making four Wimbledon semi-finals, winning 11 career titles and rising to number four in the world, there will be those who denigrate Ricky Hatton as he officially moves into retirement.

Envy? Probably. Nonsense? Most of it. But then it is easy throwing bombs anonymously from your living room sofa. How high, I ask myself sometimes, have these armchair critics soared in their chosen professions?

It is one of the oldest adages in boxing, indeed sport in general, that you are only as good as the other person lets you. And just as Henman's path to potential immortality was blocked by superior talents, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao were on hand to put 'The Hitman' in perspective.

The nature of those defeats - outclassed over 10 rounds by Mayweather, demolished in two rounds by Pacquiao - demonstrated that not only was Hatton short of true greatness, but also that he was some way past his best when he met them.

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 had 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 - and most often. Unfortunately, against slicker, and less shopworn, fighters than the 35-year-old Tszyu, Hatton's roughhousing did not cut it.

Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach put it best when he said: "Hatton is what he is. We studied tapes, it's right in front of you. All you do is watch."

Hatton's preferred style, meaning he was prepared to take two punches to land one of his own, meant he was an 'old' 30 when he engaged in his final fight against Pacquiao in Las Vegas in May 2009.

Hatton suffered only two defeats in his career spanning 15 years

The unmistakable signs of very real decline were in evidence the previous summer, 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 bout, 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 disabused him of that notion in brutal fashion.

While Pacquiao's ability to carry his power up through the weights is phenomenal, you have to remind yourself the Philippine superstar was unable to do to a host of big-name opponents what he did to Hatton.

Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez and Erik Morales (in the first two fights anyway) were all able to withstand Pacquiao's biggest bombs, into the championship rounds at least. Even Oscar de la Hoya, a dehydrated husk when he fought Pacquiao last December, was never put down.

As former super-middleweight world champion Richie Woodhall told me recently, a fighter's head is like a walnut: it might take some cracking at first, but once the fissures start appearing, it is time to get out.

"Knockouts like that are not good for people," added Roach, who suffers from Parkinson's disease exacerbated by boxing. "I was told to retire and I fought five more fights without my trainer. I lost four of them, so my trainer was probably right."

Hatton's loyalty to two of his closest friends, Ronald McDonald and Arthur Guinness, no doubt accelerated his decline, and while his geezerish demeanour endeared him to many, there is no doubt it adversely affected his standing with some boxing fans.

Some readers of this website found his man-of-the-people schtick difficult to stomach. As one wag put it to me, it is all very well pootling about in a three-wheeler van, but Del Boy did not make a habit of referring to himself in the third person.

But to tens of thousands more, Hatton was a folk hero, one of their own, and they raided their piggy banks time and time again to prove how much they loved him. His popularity was made all the more astonishing by the fact he never once fought live on terrestrial TV.

While Hatton's many forays across the Atlantic stretched his supporters' finances, and devotion, to the limits, they also proved he was willing to test himself against the very best and, if it came to that, be carried out on his shield. For that, he should be admired.

Being told you are the best promoter in Europe - an accolade he was bestowed with last month - is not a patch on being told "there's only one Ricky Hatton". Over and over again, by tens of thousands, while you are up there under lights. But perhaps the award was the reassurance Hatton needed that there is life beyond the ring.

That Hatton was found wanting on the biggest stage is nothing to be ashamed of. There are no testimonials in boxing, no gentle kickabouts, no hit and giggles. Hatton is right to get out now, while he can still remember what glorious fun it all was.


Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    'The Manchester fighter then beat Tony Pep to win the WBU light-welterweight title in May 2001 and went on to DOMINATE the light-welterweight division with his most notable victory at that weight coming in 2005 against IBF champion Kostya Tszyu.'

    Ummm come on. While Hatton had a very good career, especially for a guy with very good skills but not great ones, the idea that he dominated via the WBU (not even the WBO) is a massive exaggeration.

    Hatton adores Duran. Unfortunately he couldn't take the lifestyle of the great one. That said, retirement is the only option after this kind of 2 years out so enjoy it Ricky.

  • Comment number 2.

    I mean if he beat Willie Pep to win the division....then ok.

  • Comment number 3.

    He was the peoples champion and that is all that really matters...best ever? no! best loved? possibly! people could relate to him and loved his because he ate pies and drunk loads of beer and not despite it! Will be missed big time by me that's for sure!

  • Comment number 4.

    I can't think of many truly 'great' british boxers, boxers who you expected to win no matter who they were fighting. In recent times I can think of only two that stand out; Lennox Lewis and Joe Calzaghe but I think that Hatton's willingness to take on the true greats puts him in the next bracket and had he not come up with such a lame excuse for losing I think David Haye would have joined the plucky brit club too.

    Enjoy you retirement Ricky and thanks for some great memories

  • Comment number 5.

    Hatton only lost professionally to two men, both of whom are amongst the greatest pound for pound boxers of all time (both are now multiple Ring Mag's fighter of the year). First European Ring mag fighter of the year since the 1950s, mutiple (real) title holder (IBF, WBA), 10 years (41 fights) unbeaten until the Floyd Mayweather, Jr fight. More an Ivan Lendl than a Tim Henman.

  • Comment number 6.

    He would have had a better career in freestyle wrestling -- you know where they are allowed to grab people below the waist.

  • Comment number 7.

    Good call Ben,plenty of armchair warriors out there who are happy to criticize and have achieved nothing themselves. I think the Lendl/Hatton analogy hits the mark...very good indeed but not quite up there,a similar fate awaits Mr Murray methinks, his misfortune is to be playing when 2 contenders for Goat are on the scene .
    Whatevever....Hatton made a far better job of his chosen profession than say..the pathetic representatives of the England football team lol, hope he enjoys his well deserved retirement.

  • Comment number 8.

    happy to see him retire only because dont want him to tarnish what was a successful career. he lost to two fighters who could easily go down in a all time great list. and people always say Kostya Tszyu was on his way out, then how the hell was he such a favourtie in the hatton fight, i just think it was a great win by hatton, yes tszyu was maybe coming to end of his career but you cant say he was shopworn, just because he was 35 doesnt necessary mean he was past it.

    so well done with your career hatton and best luck with promoting, you always entertained

  • Comment number 9.

    Ricky was TV, a real showman who stood toe to toe, not the best fighter, but a great fighter certainly and worth every penny of what he earned - not like some so called pugilists that climb through the ropes!

  • Comment number 10.

    The fact of the matter is that Hatton was the undisputed light-welterweight champion for four years, a great feat. Theres no shame in losing to Mayweather or Pac-Man.

    I hope he enjoys his retirement, in excellent health. Hes earned it.

  • Comment number 11.

    I think its only fair if you are going to say Hatton was past his best by Mayweather and Pacquiao to mention that Kosta Tszyu was hardly at the peak of his powers when Hatton beat him.

    Cant have it both ways.

  • Comment number 12.

    There is no shame losing to either manny or mayweather, as they are truly great fighters. I think it was Hattons life style that ended his career early not his ability.

  • Comment number 13.

    Ricky Hatton may not have been the truely great world champion that we may have hoped. The defeats against Mayweather and Pacquiao clearly showed this. However, as a fan of boxing and a supporter I would prefer to watch a Ricky Hatton over all the boxers competing today.

    In a world where prima donna footballers getting paid vast sums of money for putting in minimal amounts of effort (and I am a football fan also), its nice to see a competitor who may also earn a vast wage, actually making that cash hard earned.

    Watching Haye limp through the final rounds on Saturday reminded me of why most of us fell in love with Hatton in the 1st place and has given me a new motto in life.

    Better to go down fighting, than to walk away complaining about a minor toe injury.

  • Comment number 14.

    No, Nav, Hatton was not the undisputed light-welterweight champion for four years. For varying reasons, neither Miguel Cotto, nor Junior Witter, both belt-holders of Hatton's vintage, were able to get to grips with Hatton. His anointing as the man who beat the man therefore lacked a little substance, particularly as, during his 140 lb days at least, he appeared quick to take on foes who did not appear quite as threatening, so Maussa rather than Harris, an old and puffy Castillo, another puffed-up lightweight in Lazcano, and so on.

    To keep this strictly to boxing (I think Ben does a fair job of assessing the man of the people routine), Hatton, by British standards was one of the very good ones. Somewhere between 15 and 20 in the all-time pound for pound UK lists seems fair. His wins against really notable opponents are lacking by comparison with those above him, and few of the top 15 received quite such decisive shellackings when roughly in their prime, however top-flight their opponents might have been. Those who call Hatton a failure are fools; however, an equally prevalent British disease is to hype our sports stars far beyond the demands of their accomplishments. Hatton was clearly better than average; he was equally clearly not great.

    One last cri de coeur - can we dispense with the "show me your medals" or "how many world titles have you won?" counter to any criticism of a sportsman. The old Samuel Johnson rejoinder still applies: "You may abuse a tragedy, though you cannot write one. You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table, though you cannot make a table. It is not your trade to make tables."

  • Comment number 15.

    @confiseur - Lendl, Ivan Lendl a bloke that spend 270 weeks as number 1 in the world, I think he played in 20 grand slam finals, ok he only won 8, and only grass was his down fall although got to 2 finals. The bloke WAS A GREAT. Get ya facts right before writing, as you obviously only follow Wimbledon when it comes to tennis. Hatton was not a great, I agree. His lifestyle was a joy for the local man on the street, but for a boxer it was stupid. Then again making millions and still being able to drink and party when you want, isn't that stupid after all.... I'll get back in my arm chair.

  • Comment number 16.

    If we're going to use tennis anaolgies, I agree he's a bit short of an Ivan Lendl. Maybe Stefan Edberg?

  • Comment number 17.

    I liked the blog, Ben. Some of the things that Hatton did - like the whole third person thing and that awful autobiography - got on my nerves, but two defeats in a long career - and to those two guys - is a fantastic achievement. He won a proper world title and only Calzaghe's triumph over Jeff Lacy, in my opinion, caps Hatton's victory over Tzuyu for British boxing in the last few years.

  • Comment number 18.

    'Envy? Probably. Nonsense? Most of it. But then it is easy throwing bombs anonymously from your living room sofa. How high, I ask myself sometimes, have these armchair critics soared in their chosen professions?'

    Right on, Ben. RH thrilled a lot of people, and never ducked anyone.

  • Comment number 19.

    @ kentspur

    really? i like calzaghe and hatton but to say there victorys are top two is bit harsh. espically when carl froch has had a couple of bigs wins, and he has fought anybody and everybody he can.

  • Comment number 20.

    Much like Riddick Bowe, Hatton let himself get badly out of shape between fights and just like Bowe it ended up hurting his durability and his long-term career.

    But hey. If he wasn't a true great, he was still very good and that's a better career still than 99% of professional boxers achieve. Big credit for that.

  • Comment number 21.

    captaincarrantuohil, Hatton won the light welterweight championship by beating the Russian Kostya Tszyu. I dont give any recognition to the cancerous organisations - totally blank them. One champion per division, as per the Ring.

    It doesnt hurt Hatton's reputation if he didnt fight Cotto, who i dont believe is as good as he has been made out to be. And lets not even get started on Junior Witter - do you remember the Zab Judah "fight"?

    To be great, you must do great things. Hatton beating the Russian was a brilliant accomplishment.

  • Comment number 22.

    When he was just interested in being a boxer he was an incredible fighter. The venom in his body punching was unlike anything I'd ever seen, and for him to get such a live following without mainstream exposure showed he had something very special.

    The problem for me was when his persona overtook his ability. I always find myself contrasting his career with that of Joe Calzaghe. Calzaghe waited until he retired before he milked his fame, and had a significantly better fighting career because of it. Hatton took the cash and his eye off the ball in the process.

  • Comment number 23.

    I watched Ricky Hatton throughout his pro career & he leaves British boxing short of talent today. Never a great boxer, he was instead a great fighter who didn't know the meaning of giving in. How you can compare Tim Henman to Hatton is beyond me. Henman was a good tennis player but never good enough to reach a major final while Hatton was world champion in his sport. Any deingration of Henman probably comes from the fact that the British media hyped him up to be the next Fred Perry, something wich Henman was happy to go along with & cash in on. While Hatton quietly went about his work asking nothing & giving a great deal in return.

  • Comment number 24.

    A very good accomplishment to beat Tszyu, Nav, although, it still needs to be repeated that the Russian never fought again. In that sense, it's a victory that ranks with Stracey's win over an ageing Napoles (although not quite as high, seeing as John H. had to travel to Mexico to beat his old legend), rather than Honeyghan's over Curry.

    He fought very well that night, but he still should have fought Witter, at the very least. The Judah fight showcased a much greener Witter; the man who disposed of Vivian Harris would have given Hatton plenty to think about, in my view. Witter shot himself in the foot with his constant taunting of Hatton and from a personal point of view, I don't blame Hatton for ignoring him. However, let's not pretend that fighting Castillo, Lazcano, Malignaggi, Maussa or even the last knockings of Kostya Tszyu were assignments as demanding as facing Cotto or Witter in their prime.

  • Comment number 25.

    He may not have been to everybody's tastes as a boxer, but he entertained, gave his all in the ring and didn't duck the tough fights. He was perhaps a little unlucky to have encountered two of the best pound for pound fighters ever in his last two fights and was well beaten by them both, but there's no shame in that. He was graceful in defeat (unlike David Haye) although the losses obviously hurt him deeply.

    Personally, I was never convinced with him after he moved up to welterweight. Yes, he was struggling to meet the weight at light-welterweight and he was perhaps past his best, but he seemed to sacrifice too much speed and endurance for that extra 7lbs.

    I wish we made a few more boxers like him - I'd always pay money to watch him safe in the knowledge that I'd get a show and complete commitment. Isn't that what boxing's about?

  • Comment number 26.

    Good luck to him and lets hope he stays in boxing in some sort of way.
    Whatever anyone else say's I think he was fantastic boxer, great crowd pleaser. He lost his fights to 2 of the greatest fighters of his generation.
    Oh Tim 'the tiger' Henman never won a major title being compared to a former world champion, what drugs you taking.

  • Comment number 27.

    We shouldn't forget that the 130 to 150 pound weight divisions are probably the strongest in boxing. Apart from Pacquiao (almost certainly the best of them all) there's also Mayweather, Margarito, Mosley, Martinez, Maidana, Morales... and that's just a few of the M's.
    All of these boxers would probably have been too much for Hatton to handle, even if they were past their best, in their middle thirties.
    That doesn't suddenly make Hatton a bad fighter. He was simply never one of the best.

  • Comment number 28.

    I wish him all the best in his future endeavours. His career may not end the way he would have liked to, but he can look back and be extremely proud of his achievements. He has achieved things many other boxers around the world can only dream of. Good luck, Ricky, and we all hope to see you back in boxing in another capacity.

  • Comment number 29.

    Ben, I suggest you Google 'ad-hominem' and learn that the standing of a critic in his or her profession has no bearing on the validity of their arguments.

    Schoolboy error.

  • Comment number 30.

    captaincarrantuohil, Hatton defended his title against worthy contenders, all apart from Lazcano were ranked in the consensus top 10. Witter was not a worthwhile bout, as to my knowledge, Witter failed all his big tests - Judah, Bradley and Alexander to name but a few. He would have failed again versus Hatton, who would have wanted it more every which way.

    You might criticise Hatton's reign from 2005-2009 but Jack Dempsey did not make a defence for 3 years, back in the early 20's. It didnt damage his legacy. Hatton was classy at 140, simple as.

  • Comment number 31.

    I think that by the time he got to 1924, Dempsey's legacy was pretty secure, Nav! Although this may come as news to some British folk, Hatton was never operating at, or talked about, at that kind of level.

    I'm curious as to why you would mention three fights of Witter that show him either as a complete novice or right at the end of his career. His "big tests" against men such as Corley, Harris and Kotelnik were passed pretty adequately, I thought. Whether Hatton would have beaten him or not is a matter of opinion, but it's a question that should have been resolved in the ring at the time. Witter was not merely a worthwhile test, but just about regarded as the number two at the weight when he held the WBC title.

  • Comment number 32.

    I dont think Witter was ever involved in an exciting bout. That was Hatton's M.O., he loved to come straight ahead and wear the other man down, hence his great appeal. I appreciate all styles but i cant see Hatton losing to Witter between 2002-2009. Hatton would have had more of a will to win.

    You can say Tsyzu was past his best but by the time Witter got to Harris in 2007, Harris was shot to pieces. Same goes for Corley. Not much of a claim to fame for the switch hitter.

  • Comment number 33.

    "But then it is easy throwing bombs anonymously from your living room sofa. How high, I ask myself sometimes, have these armchair critics soared in their chosen professions?"

    I don't really think that has anything to do with it. They are quite free to criticise a sportsman, whether they work as a cleaner (a fine job) or as a CEO. Where else can they throw bombs from, anyway? Are only those who have achieved more than Hatton able to criticise him? I appreciate that's not exactly what you're saying, but I certainly don't agree with your sentiment. (Do agree with the point about Henman though).

    Ah, anyway, I'm no boxing fan, I think it's Medieval. I'm no Hatton fan either. Hopefully we'll hear less of him in his retirement.



  • Comment number 34.

    I'm by no means suggesting that Witter was either an exciting fighter or one whose victims include a string of Hall of Famers. There is no doubt, though, that he had credentials to be a valid opponent for Hatton that were far in excess of some of the 140 lb men that Ricky did take on. Anyone who genuinely ranked Castillo as a top ten light-welter before he fought Ricky or thought that Malignaggi represented any kind of threat either wasn't going on current form.

    I'm not even saying that Hatton wouldn't have put Witter in his place, although I don't think that he would have enjoyed Junior's style. I am saying that it was a fight that should have taken place.

    I have always been slightly puzzled at the reception that Hatton has always had when compared to someone like Froch. There is a man whose CV is better than Ricky's, who is seldom in a bad fight, who fights absolutely anyone without excuses, generally wins and very often has to travel to inhospitable places to do so. He also comes across as articulate, straightforward and single-minded. And yet, Our Ricky can do no wrong for so many people and Froch, if he is discussed at all, is hopelessly underrated. I will say that Hatton has been one of the most skilfully guided, artfully marketed fighters in British boxing history.

  • Comment number 35.

    I hope this isnt the last we see of Ricky. Hopefully he will appear on strictly come dancing or something similar, maybe get a spot on the celebrity circuit and make money just for being famous. There's a lot of people in this country who are obsessed with famous people and want to know everything about them. I hope Ricky can tap into this and get some more money coming in. Hes a classy guy, i wont begrudge him any recognition in his retirement. Hes a national treasure.

  • Comment number 36.

    Big fights have slipped thru the net countless times, and thats one of the reasons boxing isnt mainstream. Yes, Hatton should have fought Witter, but Mayweather-Pacman should be on but isnt, Lewis and Bowe never got it on, as didnt Tyson and Foreman. Boxing is the only sport where the best dont have to fight the best, and thats to its detriment.

    As for Froch, i agree hes a wonderful prizefighter, a revelation. Hes a throwback to another era. We should herald him now before its too late. But hes had problems with no concrete tv deals etc to showcase his talent. Hes never projected himself as a man of the people, not to the same degree as Ricky. Does Froch go down the local chippy or pub in between bouts? This was part of Ricky's appeal. Another thing with Froch is that he doesnt seem to have a superstar opponent forthcoming on his resume. Hatton always had Mayweather lurking in the background and then along came pacman. Both were pound for pound champions.

  • Comment number 37.

    Duran used to let himself go between fights and it cost him a few times so it's surprising Ricky didn't learn from that. Still, at least he sought out the best in his class and had a go. Maybe he did tarnish his legend by biting off more than he could chew but he won't be plagued by 'what if?'
    Besides, its a shame success in boxing if defined by a perfect record when what people really remember is great fights. Ricky certainly had a few of those.

  • Comment number 38.

    Congratulations to Mr Hatton on a marvelous career. I was and am a massive fan. But Lendl? Come on!

    Lets not forget a couple of facts here. There are no weight divisions in tennis, and participation wise, it is a much bigger sport. As a long standing number one player, Lendl can be compared with a long reigning ackowledged pound for pound great - not Ricky Hatton.

    A boxing world title denomination is more like a tennis tour title than a grand slam - there are over 50 boxing world titles available at one time.

    A grand slam title is like being in the top 5 pound for pound in the world of boxing in my opinion. 8 grand slams places a player among the all time greats of the whole sport. Hatton was not even the best British fighter in his day, let alone all time great of the sport.

    Sorry, but that was an absurd comparision.

    Tim Henman is a fairer comparison. 11 titles, 4th ranked player for considerable durations, and not just in one of 16 weight divisions - in the entire world. On his day capable of beating the worlds' best. For me Henman definitely beats Ricky. Sorry Ricky.

  • Comment number 39.

    JHjackhammer

    When I posted, I was thinking the other British contender in terms of magical moments was Froch and - in particular - the Jermain Taylor KO, but the best fights I can recall in British boxing in the last few years were Calzaghe-Lacy and Hatton-Tzuyu. Got my Virgin Media bill today and felt depressed at the amount I spent on watching big Wlad stick out an arm and David Haye's toe! Still have hopes for Amir Khan, though. Fantastic hand speed.

  • Comment number 40.

    had some good times watching ricky, a true fighter not technically great but a big heart, never ducked anyone (unless it suited him, serves you right witter too much mouth). fought the best out there and got well beaten by two of the best i've ever seen .
    good luck to you ricky.

  • Comment number 41.

    Great blog, Ben. What a fabulous entertainer Ricky was. He made you believe, didn't he? I don't think the issue here is comparing Hatton with Henman, though. How can you compare boxing achievements with tennis achievements?

    What you can say though, is that both men inspired and entertained. Both did well out of their sports. Neither excelled to the very heights, but both gave a very good show and deserve an enjoyable retirement. Thanks for the memories Ricky. A true fighter.

  • Comment number 42.

    "29. At 21:33 7th Jul 2011, maw501 wrote:
    Ben, I suggest you Google 'ad-hominem' and learn that the standing of a critic in his or her profession has no bearing on the validity of their arguments.

    Schoolboy error."

    That may be true, but how often in these pages do we actually see people building an argument? The quality of posts are more typically at the level of 'Murray? What a loser. Just like Henman'. In such instances, questioning the authority of the author to make this assessment is legitimate.

  • Comment number 43.

    Ricky Hatton was like Wlad Klitschko in that he carried professionalism and conducted himself gentlemanly to the public, and had great personality and likeability.

    In terms of his boxing standing, he did achieve good things, but he was found wanting at the very highest level, when talking about his standing in boxing's elite. I think he was exciting and he was always involved in good tear-ups, but he was one-dimensional, lets face it. But that was his style - he was never a boxer with the technical skills, and it wasn't going to be enough to beat Mayweather Jnr or Manny Pacquaio. Simply too predictable.

    He's had a good enough career, so shouldn't be disappointed that he wasn't going to be a real great.

  • Comment number 44.

    And Ricky Hatton could never really be 'The Man' again to fight for premier big fights, or believe in his skills after being so brutally knocked out by Manny Pacquiao.

    His popularity and pride in who he was pretty much ended on that fateful night. Personally, it was really the night when he was outclassed by Mayweather Jnr that his exciting brawling was limited against the very best.

  • Comment number 45.

    Hattons training and lifestyle caught up with him way before the Mayweather fight. The Hatton that fought tszyu had turned into a brawling fat slugger.

    He had no defence against Mayweather, his head movement was non existent unlike against Tzsyu.

    I think Hattons lifestyle and training problems resulted in him not reaching the peak or staying there for long but because of his aggressive style and charming personality he will go down as a british great, because of who his 2 losses were against, only because of that, a bit like Henry Cooper.

    However if Hatton had fought a Shane Mosley or MIguel Cotto, I fear he still would've come unstuck, due to his slipping training regime.

  • Comment number 46.

    I have to admit I was sometimes quite critical of the man during his career - often in response to the Hattonites' overblown hype - "Ricky will walk thru Mayweather's punches", "Too naturally big for Pacquiao to handle" etc etc.

    My problem was these folk's inability to admit - or to see? - the glaring shortcomings in the Hatton technique. For sure, those who described him as "a good club fighter" were damning with faint praise. But when put side by side with Mayweather - and as I remember it, when that devastating check left landed, they WERE almost side-by-side - there were two different levels of skill on display.

    The working-class-hero flannel? Never appealed to me, but I never felt it was calculated or knowingly dishonest. It was a genuinely held (if over-cultivated) self-image. I think Boils gets it with the first comment here, the Duran comparison. Ricky was able to get his weight down very successfully, and he was never a shirker in training. But that sort of boom-&-bust seesawing is hard on an athlete's system, and it takes a quite exceptional constitution to sustain it over a long career like Roberto did.

    Sadly, by the time the huge fights came around, he was no longer quite the same fighter physically. His defensive technique, which was never really natural, and so required an effort of concentration to sustain, tended to disintegrate when he became tired. And towards the end of his career the tiredness came more quickly, after what he'd put his body thru in the company of Ronald and Arthur. Don't think he would ever admit it right enough - his "I-ams-what-I-ams" jive wouldn't permit that - but it's true just the same.

    But at the end of the day, what he really wanted to be was an exciting fighter, to be the people's champion. And could anyone forget how he stunned the doubters to win the IBF title from Kostya? - just the first of a number of world belts. He WAS the people's champion - and a world champion at that. That's not failure, that's success, in anyone's book.

  • Comment number 47.

    I kind of agree with the sentiment of this article but its written in such an ugly fashion. I imagine there is a well worn thesaurus by the keyboard being disabused.

  • Comment number 48.

    @Redeye - spot on

  • Comment number 49.

    All the best to Ricky in his retirement - he was a redoubtable participant in several entertaining fights over the years and he's to be thanked for that. How many of the knockers on here would get in the ring and smacked in the face for a living - a good living indeed, but a hard one.

    To redress the quality of Tszyu when Hatton beat him, you need to have read the biography of Johnny Lewis, Tszyu's trainer throughout his professional career. Kostya was an immensely talented fighter in his day but was distracted and very much on the decline when Ricky got his shot. Hatton's achievement was notable, but hardly against a champion at his peak.

  • Comment number 50.

    ok, maybe the last word on the tennis analogy?

    We agree he's not a Henman - better track record
    Definitely not a Lendl - nowhere near the track record
    Don't like the Edberg comparison - Edberg had a shortish career at the very top I'll admit, but was poetry in motion to watch, one of the most stylish players of all time.

    So it has to be Jim Courier - that does it for me, in both style and substance.

  • Comment number 51.

    I think the best analogy I have ever heard about Ricky Hatton comes from the man himself: 'I give an honest effort in the ring, and an honest answer outside it.'

    In a country that forgave Frank Bruno for numerous failed world title attempts, we should embrace the Ricky Hatton era for what it was: an exciting roller-coaster ride that we all enjoyed, whether he won or lost. And he only lost to all-time-greats.

  • Comment number 52.

    I love the fact that most people on here slate Hatton's winnings, suggesting he's fought past their best fighters, but the same default answers from them seem to be on EVERY British fighter, from Hatton to Haye, and Haye to Bruno.

    He was very exciting to watch, and having met him, can say he's a really decent and honest guy. Loved to watch him fight, just like I love to watch any British fighter. Froch, Calzaghe, Bruno, Lennox, Haye, Hatton, Naseem etc..

    He tried and lost to 2 fighters which are at the top and at their peak, no shame in that as most people who think there is are more than likely people who have achieved nothing themselves apart from claim job seekers.

  • Comment number 53.

    Couldn't stand watching the guy fight. Every fight he had was a complete clinch fest, rush forward, throw one or two punches, clinch up, the rinse and repeat.

    The best part about him was his fans and personality.
    Good luck in the future Ricky. Never great, but a pretty good fighter and seems to be a likeable guy outside the ring.
    Fun to watch!!!, He was like a welterweight John Ruiz.

    He might have been fun to watch in a sense; he had the worst and slowest head movement of any champion at those weights I’ve ever seen.You cant hate on Hatton though, only two that where better than him, and he fought both of them and was beat badly.
    Hatton was fun to watch but I am glad he is now retired, take your money and your health and enjoy your life!

  • Comment number 54.

    Let's remember that boxing is about entertainment. Hatton scores highly on that front. And life is about giving the best you've got, with what you've been given. If you let some of his lifestyle choices go for a moment (though that isn't necessarily easy or appropriate) and simply focus on Hatton from the moment he stepped into the ring, then he scores highly on that too. Not a great boxer, but a great entertainer. Those thousands of people aren't all wrong.

    Oh, and #23, not sure why you felt the Henman diatribe was necessary. Ben listed his acheivements so no need to repeat them. Seems like the pervading attitude with Henman is that because he didn't win a Grand Slam he was rubbish. Very few actual tennis players would agree with that assessment. And he made a few quid from advertising? What a travesty!

  • Comment number 55.

    Hatton imo could have been really great. His lifestyle was awful, he got away with it in his 20's but the internal damage he was doing was immense, especially aganst the likes of manny pacquio and mayweather.

    Also, IMO britain trainers aRE not as good as the US. Was billy really in the mould of freddie roach.

    Look at manny and wlad, both had 3 losses they shouldnt had, both got manny stewart and freddie roach, and now are unstoppable. Hatton if had say roach, would have been immence imo.


    Also we should really embrace carl froch, the dude, although a big ask could get ATG status.

    Hes beaten kessler(imo he won that fight, although close), jermaine taylor, andre dirrell, abraham, glen johnson, and the recent world champ in pascal.

    Most of these fights wernt even in britain, incredible!!!!!

  • Comment number 56.

    "Envy? Probably. Nonsense? Most of it. But then it is easy throwing bombs anonymously from your living room sofa. How high, I ask myself sometimes, have these armchair critics soared in their chosen professions?"

    What an incredibly stupid thing to say. In that case, why open the article to comments, in fact why write the article in the first place. After all given the fact that you're not an all time great boxer you're not allowed an opinion. Better get FM or MP writing on this website...

  • Comment number 57.

    56. Calm down lad...

    Nobody forbids anyone the write to criticize....Lord forbid..its not the critic per se but the obnoxious tone used which upsets.

  • Comment number 58.

    57. Tone is always part of debate. Its just a bonkers argument used for years in football when you had to have played at the highest level to manage etc etc or be real 'football people'. What's next? Can't criticise a politician because you've never stood for office, a Tv program because you've never written anything?

  • Comment number 59.

    Even Hatton's biggest fans never thought he was an all time great, or even in the same class as say Naseem hamed in British terms. he beat Tszyu thats about it.

    But the article is overly critical, he was fun to watch and to describe his manner as 'schtick' is unfair cos he was a totally genuine larrikin.

    And its ironic that the blog writer derides 'armchair critics'; Mr Dirs that is exactly what you are, verdad?

    How high have you risen in your proffession? You're no Aggers mate.

  • Comment number 60.

    Hatton, for all he was entertaining, was nothing but a little version of Frank Bruno.
    Fed a diet of bums and has-beens then knocked out as soon as somebody good enters the ring !
    But then that's the way boxing is - padding out the win/loss column is everything. Nobody dares lose because it seems retirement is the only way to go.
    That's why UFC will soon pass boxing in the popularity stakes because the bills are full of like vs like fighters and they aren't scared to lose. Most of the top UFC fighters have multiple losses on their records but they still have plenty to offer their sport.
    Boxing is dead in the water..........

  • Comment number 61.

    I will remember Ricky Hatton as a provider of great entertainment. While his style was not the most technically proficient, his fights were very rarely dull (all fighters have a few bore-fests on their records). He may have fallen short against the very best out there, but I think credit has to be given that he was willing to get in the ring with them and find out instead of just talking about it. He is also a likeable guy. People loved him, here and abroad. He earned a lot of people's respect too, including PBF Mayweather, who isn't always the most forthcoming with that respect. He was never the most talented boxer out there, but he was considerably better than average and he made the absolute most of what he had.

    Before we do the guy down by comparing him to the all time greats, let's remember that he was, for all his technical shortcomings, a two-weight world champion, which even in the age of alphabet titles is not something most fighters achieve.

    Not the best British fighter of his generation. But probably my favourite British fighter of his generation. I wouldn't be surprised if he appears in the Hall of Fame in the not too distant future either.

  • Comment number 62.

    Yes people may have negative things to say that 'he wasnt as good as he could have been' which is pretty much the staple for British sport, but Hatton was a good gritty fighter that endeared him to most.. (well me anyway...). He didnt mind standing toe to toe and taking a few blows in order to land a good few himself, which made his fights great to watch. He was always one of my favourate fighters but you could tell after the Mayweather defeat that either his heart, head or both werent really in it anymore. After 2 years out its no big shock, but he has earnt it and its better to go out now then after a failed 'comeback'. Best of luck for the future.

  • Comment number 63.

    Pac-man and Mayweather will go down as All Time Greats

    In comparison, Hatton will go down as a Hall of Famer but not an ATG.

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    One last cri de coeur - can we dispense with the "show me your medals" or "how many world titles have you won?" counter to any criticism of a sportsman. The old Samuel Johnson rejoinder still applies: "You may abuse a tragedy, though you cannot write one. You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table, though you cannot make a table. It is not your trade to make tables."
    -------------

    You miss the point. A person can only be as good as their ability and talent allows, but nobody should ever criticise someone like Hatton, Henman or even England's footballers unless they can honestly turn around and say that they are achieving close to the maximum that they are capable of themselves, whatever their field is.

  • Comment number 66.

    I think the Luis Collanzo fight was the big turning point for me. He just got the decision but it was very close, and he was running out of steam in the end, and I think that was when he started to decline. Did better against Mayweather than people now remember, but lost his head when he was deducted a point, and had no discpline at all against Manny at all. A slim points loss against Mayweather who got away with a lot of use of the forearm, and a more sensible approach against the Pac-man may have made his legacy a little better. Second tier in UK greats but good second tier. Although, sometimes even interviewers started referring to him in the 3rd person when speaking to him. But what's good enough for Alan Shearer and Lennox Lewis, is good enough for Ricky Hatton. Top bloke will be sorely missed.

  • Comment number 67.

    "GREAT or not GREAT that is the question", No, No, No that is not the question guys. Here is the question: "Which British boxer can fill stadiums around the world and why?"
    My take on Ricky: he was a real character of boxing and people loved him for that along with his heart. He was an entertainer his fans would spend their last quid to follow him.
    Thank you Ricky, you gave us a great show, great value and I wish you continued success in your new career as a promoter.

  • Comment number 68.

    Im glad Rickys finally made up his mind now.Whilst i agree with you that his greatest night was against Tsyzu i disagree with most of the other things you have said.His peak was undoubtedly after the Tszyu fight when he was regarded as the best 140lb in the world for around 4 years only losing to Mayweather at 147.Good wins over fighters such as Castillo,Maussa,Malinaggi, even his disputed win over a decent welter in Collazo.I mean his best opponent before the Tszyu win was a past his best Vince Phillips.Rickys no Tim Henman he's a much higher level than that your wrong about Morales also Pacquaio knocked him out twice and he had Marquez down 3 times in the first fight in round 1 under different governing body rules could have been ko in 1.Also he gave Barrera and De La Hoya such a beating that their corners stopped the fight.

  • Comment number 69.

    Point taken, hackerjack, which means that I shall gingerly continue on my path! It does, however, seem that sportsmen are sometimes expected to be particularly exempt from criticism by anyone other than those who have played professional sport themselves. This is the kind of thinking that has led to commentary boxes being cluttered up by former greats who can't string a sentence together, newspapers filled with the musings of ex-stars who are unable to express themselves and predictions of fights, matches or championships by the heroes of yesteryear that are notable only for the distance by which they miss the mark. The Haye-Klitschko fight was a case in point.

    I agree that the boo-boys of sport are a cross that everyone has to bear, but I equally think that unqualified praise is not the only reaction open to an armchair sports follower.

  • Comment number 70.

    "demonstrated that not only was Hatton short of true greatness, but also that he was some way past his best when he met them"

    So was Tyson past his best when he faced Lewis?

  • Comment number 71.

    "So was Tyson past his best when he faced Lewis"

    Erm, yes.

    Ask me another.

  • Comment number 72.

    First off, congratulations to Hatton on a great career. He got everything he could out of his ability, had an enormous win over an excellent fighter, and only lost to two fighters who were much better than he was. He did it in style, he never backed down from anyone, and he's retiring at more or less the right time, all things to be proud of.

    I found his style interesting. Even though clearly in the brawler group, there was more to it than that, as his amateur record would indicate. What he had, in particular, was very quick feet and a very effective, if unorthodox, way of getting his own weight into his punches and keeping his opponents from putting theirs into theirs. It featured judicious bumping more than grabbing, and was the reason I thought he beat Tzyu. The other, better appreciated part of his game was physical strength. As long as he had a real edge in footspeed or strength he did well. Without either one, as against Pac and Mayweather, he had no chance.

    If I wanted to nitpick, I'd say a boxer of his experience shouldn't have telegraphed his money punch, the left hook to the body. Pac made him pay for it.

    But nobody's perfect, and Hatton and his fans should be proud he was one of the most exciting and successful fighters of his era due as much to courage and determination as to his considerable but not overwhelming talent.

  • Comment number 73.

    Hatton did do better against Mayweather than most gave him credit for. He split the early rounds, and then Mayweather did what Mayweather does, which is find the key to defeating someone's style. A cooler head would have taken a respectable points loss (116-112, maybe?), Hatton kept charging forward with less and less caution and more and more frustration until Mayweather caught him. Something tells me you'll never see Haye do something like that, and that's why fans prefer a fighter who gives it his all in the ring.

    Pac, I think, was just the nightmare opponent for Hatton's style. He left himself open, but had the footspeed to keep this from being a problem against everyone but a faster fighter who could land power shots with precision--Pac, in other words.

  • Comment number 74.

    defo not a GOAT, Hatton is... too much grab & hold... nothing much else... I am a bit disappointed with Kostya Tszyu for choosing to retire in that fight and not finishing him off which I am convinced he could have done that night in Manchester.

  • Comment number 75.

    Good luck the Hitman !! Do something healthy, be a trainer or broadcaster or even a promoter - why not? Some promoters are a real rip-offs, never boxed themselves so have no idea what a fighter has to go through.

    Once in the eighties a friend was featured on the telly in a title fight - what a cracker it was. Know how much he got for his trouble? £1000 !! Tens of thousand went to the promoters, and that was common practices then. I just hope its not so now. Though Khan had a dispute recently with somebody about something !!

  • Comment number 76.

    a good li'l book on boxing

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/247258/Championship-Fighting-by-Jack-Dempsey-1950

    what David Haye and Hitman should've been studying

  • Comment number 77.

    "Juan Lazcano, a career lightweight, rocked Hatton to his boots in a bona fide tear-up"

    Are you serious? Hatton-Lazcano was a bona fide tear-up? Anyone was rocked to their boots?

    This fella Dirs simply does not write in the realms of reality. Article after article has content that makes you just scratch you head. He's like a guy winging it and trying to hide his lack of knowledge of the fights and fighters the BBC mysteriously pays him to cover. I wonder who it is who keeps him in employment.

    Barrera, Marquez and Morales 'could take Pac's power'? Well Morales could not. Barrera was stopped and Marquez has been down multiple times from shocking Pac blows. They all had A+ chins, Hatton never did. Does that explain why he was KO'd?

  • Comment number 78.

    Joe Louis used to fight "bums of the month" in his heydays just to build up excitements amongst the public in the run-up to the big ones. Hatton built up his reputations, got himself a great following before fighting the big guys for his final paydays. Haye did the same, though he used his mouth more than his fists, built up expectations round the globe, got himself some lovely lollies(£10m I believe) and if he retired tomorrow, who can blame him??

    Boxing isn't fun, you know, its a serious business. You have to maximise your potentials. Failure to do so, could result in your leaving the game with buggerall to show for it.

    In the sixties there was shrewd consortium of Jewish promoters Jack Solomons and Harry Levene etc responsible for bringing over great American fighters to London and we could see them live at the Royal Albert Hall and Empire Pool at Wembley, absolutely marvellous they were. So, give credit to boxers if sometimes they underperform, its only understandable. With every one who does well, a dozen still toil away in their day jobs.

  • Comment number 79.

    Wherever you place him on the list of great fighters, Ricky Hatton was always entertaining to watch, had some fine victories, never hid, and I wish him well. I do hope, however, that you all will forgive me if I make a couple of negative points about him.
    I believe his lifestyle away from the gym finally caught up with him. Any top class athlete is capable of papering over the cracks through intensive training in the weeks before an event to look and perform impressively, but there is nothing like clean living between fights to prolong a career in boxing. Pacquiao took this on board fairly early on in his career, and maybe that is part of the reason he has been able to achieve so much. Ricky Hatton got away with it for a long time, but it is foolish to think that a diet of junk food and alcohol won't eventually take its toll. He was also very unfortunate to peak at a time when his weight division was (and still is) dominated by two of the greatest ever fighters, but I despaired of the ludicrous approach he took to the Pacquiao fight. I never for a moment expected him to beat Pacquiao but I was really looking forward to seeing a gruelling, action-packed contest lasting eight rounds or more. Just what on earth was he thinking going in with his hands down the way he did? I realised within thirty seconds that I was going to be deprived of the great fight I was hoping for, and of course it ended in humiliation halfway through the second round. Even if he and his trainer had some sort of gameplan that involved an open defence, he should have been instructed at the end of the first that it clearly wasn't working and that he should keep his distance for the next round or so. Instead he walked right over and stuck his face in Manny's fists again. I felt embarrassed for him, and that a fighter I was proud of as an Englishman shouldn't suffer that sort of ignominy.
    Still, my belly hangs over my waistband, so I won't criticise his performances, only his tactics, and I am full of admiration for the kind of hard work and dedication that all boxers display in their individual quests for glory. I thought this article hit just the right tone, admiring without being mawkish, and realistic about the true extent of his ability.

  • Comment number 80.

    Hatton will be remembered like Bruno, very popular and just not good enough at elite level.

    Because they are both nice characters, they will be fondly remembered, more so than Hamed and Haye, and it just proves that you dont always have to be cocky and a winner to be remembered well.

  • Comment number 81.

    would love it if he took up acting again.

    he played a real mean­ banjo as the redneck kid in the film deliverance.

    dadingdingding...

  • Comment number 82.

    Ben, there are elements of your blog that I like but some that I despise. Personally, I always liked hatton, as a person and as a fighter. a top bloke and he'd rather get ko'd trying than waiting for his chance for 12 rounds and then blaming it all on a broken toe. However, that said he, and you for that, cannot have the penny and the bun.

    he rightly had the plaudits when he won and its only fair he takes the criticism on the chin when he loses. people will criticise sports people (often from their arm chair) when they fail, its what happens in the real world. fortunately you save your own bacon here by rightly pointing out that Kosta had comparable mileage on the clock when hatton stopped him. Part of the problem with sport in the UK, is that the media build up our stars beyond proportion. henman every wimbeldon, england football every world cup and more recently, virtually all of the papers were predicting haye would ko klitschko. the british media build them up and then knock them down when it ends in tears.

    However, as others have stated, ricky lost to two p4p greats, no shame in that. he came up short when it mattered. the reality however, is that in boxing britain has only produced two truly great boxers in my lifetime - lennox lewis and joe calzaghe. carl froch may well join that list, but only time will tell

  • Comment number 83.

    Ben, you're not correct on a couple of points: 1. It's not correct to say Hatton "was outclassed over 10 rounds by Mayweather". If you watch the fight you will see clearly that the fight was quite even for the first 5 or 6 rounds. Hatton was certainly in the fight, and things only went wrong in the second half of the fight after referee Joe Cortez docked him a point. 2. You say "his roughhousing did not cut it" against younger/slicker fighters. Again, if you watch the Mayweather fight, it is not correct to say this, because the reality is the referee did not let Hatton get anywhere near Mayweather. He was not allowed to pressurize or maul because the referee split them up whenever Hatton got anywhere near Mayweather. Watch it, Cortez intervenes far too soon on EVERY occasion.

  • Comment number 84.

    Ben, What you miss about the Pacquaio fight, is that Hatton was not mentally in the right state of mind, because his training camp with Mayweather Snr had gone very badly. If you watch the fight, you see Hatton came out in the first round in a "crazed state" with literally no defence, he was not protecting his head at all. He just walked on to punches with no defence. Any boxer -- or even you -- could probably have knocked Hatton out in that fight. So, you cannot judge him on that fight and all it shows is Hatton made a big error of judgment in training with Mayweather Snr.

  • Comment number 85.

    It's a shame Hatton didn't fight Cotto at light welter. That would have been a great fight which Hatton had a decent chance of winning, he could have feasibly outworked Cotto over 12 rounds. Against Mayweather, however, he was exposed to boxing greatness and I think he sustained the damage in that fight that caused his terminal decline. Coupled with his boozing and pie abuse those right hands from Floyd cracked his chin.

    Forget the Pacquiao fiasco. Even in top condition he was getting KO'd against that beast but he would have made a fight of it were he not 'trained' by Floyd's demented crack head father (whom incidently has not been allowed near Floyd's gym for years). I think Ricky watched Rocky III and got carried away with the whole 'reborn to fight like Sugar Ray' bulls**t.

    Ricky always led with his face, but he got to the top despite his lack of defence and gave us some great nights. I personally think we should exterminate the royal family and coronate Ricky as the new King of England.

  • Comment number 86.

    Hatton and Haye should give it one final shot before hanging up their gloves for good. Hatton vs Khan, and Haye vs V Klitschko at the O2 Arena or wherever in the UK.

    It should draw a massive crowd and lovely lollies for all fighters. The Klitschko Bros know there aren't any big draw out there, so they've come looking for Haye.

    If I was Haye, I'd demand a bigger slice of the cake or otherwise they can forget about fight him.

    In the good old days, there was a time limit during which a champion could be idle, then must defend within six weeks from there. Failure to do so could result in the loss of the championship title. With the Klitschko unable to fight each other, drastic measures should be introduced to avoid stalemate in the heavyweight division, and the demise of boxing in general.

  • Comment number 87.

    Nice guy. One dimensional and avoided junior witter like the plague. Atrocious lifestyle choices mad it worse. Best in the world? Maybe not even the best in Manchester. But hey ho good luck in retirement to a nice guy.

  • Comment number 88.

    Hatton would have mauled Witter. How people say he avoided Junior Witter when he fought Floyd Mayweather is beyond me. He fought the best for mega bucks, why should he fight a man who couldn't sell out a pub car park in Sheffield?

    As for Haye demanding demanding 'a bigger slice of the cake' all I can say is 'mega lolz'. The only way we will see a Klitschko fighting in London is if it's against a tomato can like Tyson Fury or Chisora.

  • Comment number 89.

    Harsh to say Hatton was boxing's Henman in my view...Henman won nothing of note really whilst Hatton won all but two of his pro fights and was World Champion in his natural light welterweight division. The only two men that did beat Ricky are two of the greatest fighters of all time. Hatton only got beaten when he tried to go up a weight and against two of the toughest opponents he could have faced.

    At least Hatton took them on. Many boxers would have shied away from those fights to keep a clean record. I love Calzaghe but he bottled the Froch fight I think.

    Good luck Ricky, you gave fans what they wanted - you went to win the fight, something David Haye should take note of perhaps...

  • Comment number 90.

    matt-stone - I find it incredulous that you suggest hatton should fight khan and haye fight the kBros. I called for ricky to retire after getting ko'd by pacman. he's said himself, the desire isnt there. what could he gain by fighting khan anyway? another loss is more than possible and would serve hatton no purpose whatsoever.

    as for haye demanding a bigger slice of the pie, dont make me laugh. what does he bring to the table now? nothing. he has no belt and no credibility. i wouldnt get out of bed to watch a rematch in my living room. its an unsellable fight after the last farce. as to the good old days, governing bodies still require champions to make mandatory defences. However, the brothers hold different belts and therefore are not ranked in the other divisions so there is no requirement for them to fight each other.

    one last one for dwilliams - calzaghe bottled a fight with froch, oh please. Joe moved up a weight, went to the US and fought and beat Hopkins

  • Comment number 91.

    Ricky Hatton was what most people perceived him to be ,which was one of the boys and the reason why most fans could identify with him. As far as the boxing is concerned he was a good, even very good fighter but not one of the greats and along with the two defeats the lack of greatness which i believe caused him to derail for a while has probably caused Hatton more anxiety than any punishment he received in the ring.
    But the first thing a boxer must learn to deal with is defeat and hopefully take positives from the experience to make them better people. I am sure quite rightly that he is proud of his achievements in boxing and will be successful in his future career as a promoter etc, i am equally as sure that he wishes he had certain aspects of his life to live again but don't we all? Best wishes to Mr Hatton and congratulations on his achievements and decision to retire at this point, it's the right thing to do without a doubt.

  • Comment number 92.

    Along with Lewis, Honeyghan, Benn, Calzaghe and Hamed, Hatton was one of the top ten British fighters of the last quarter of a century, and I don't think that anything more needs to be said...

  • Comment number 93.

    for your average boxing fan, why do you watch fights? Its for the entertainment (just like when you see crowds around a street brawl). Its something innate in people.

    Ricky gave us entertainment and he should be acknowledged for this. He didn't shirk challenges and was always willing to give fights a go. Lennox and Joe C were boxers but because they lacked the certain 'x-factor' they never connected with the masses. Ricky did and should be applauded for this.

    Re. any denigration of Hatton's ability, maybe we should look at how we can develop our UK coaches. As it appears that if a fighter wants to improve they have to go stateside (alas this is done usually in their 20's when most of the amateur habits have set in).

  • Comment number 94.

    I'll tell you for free who else is a loser... or soon will be.

    This Saturday Amir Khan is set to complete the treble of failed British boxers as he will be knocked by Zab "Super" Judah.

  • Comment number 95.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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