by Simon Garner
I’ve heard many people in the UK calling for Ricky Hatton to retire: from Johnny Nelson on Sky Sports to ITV’s Loose Women (for all the American’s reading, its kinda like the UK equivalent of The View – i.e. shit).
However, I am not one of them. For those who can bear to read my posts on the BTBC forum, you will know, despite being a true Brit, I am not a huge admirer of the Hitman.
On the other hand, no one can say that he has not done a lot with his fairly limited abilities. He has achieved a lot of things in his career such as becoming a two weight world champion and being the man that retired Kosta Tszyu. The only goal he failed at was becoming the pound-for-pound king and that’s not exactly the worst criticism in the world.
Yet, for those who have tuned to the acclaimed HBO series Pacquiao-Hatton 24/7, will know of Ricky Hatton’s desire to be seen as the best in the world. And the fact that he has been defeated on two occasions has to have taken a huge toll on his ego, not just as a boxer, but as a man.
With the Mayweather fight raking in PPV numbers of $850,000 and rumours of the Pacquiao fight being as high as $2,000,000 (!?!?!), Ricky is a box-office star, no doubt about it. Therefore, the only question I have is, would he fight on, knowing that he will more likely than not, never be involved in an event like this again?
No fighter wants to go out with a defeat, especially in the manor that Ricky did, but the question is, does he have other options? Who is out there?
After the beating he took from the Pacman, I doubt PPV numbers for his fights will be in such high demand anymore. Talks of facing Juan-Manuel Marquez are surely dead in the water now, and the only big names around, such as Shane Mosley and the returning Pretty Boy Floyd, would eat him for breakfast.
Ricky needs to be realistic, because I believe there are still some goals out there for him to achieve. Yeah, he didn’t become pound-for-pound king, but who can SERIOUSLY claim to have held that title in the last 20 years? 4, maybe 5 fighters who are dead-cert Hall-of-Fame fighters.
The talent pool at 140lb isn’t brilliant in my opinion and the hitman could give the likes of Bradley and Holt a good run for their money and he’s already beaten IBF Champ Juan Urango. There is definitely a chance to unify the divisions. Failing that, he could always have a bash at a UK Superfight with either Junior Witter or Amir Khan – both are sure to draw huge UK crowds.
A serious problem with this, contrary to news we hear from the Hatton camp, may be the weight. For anyone who saw the weigh-in for the Pacquiao fight, Ricky Hatton looked like skeletor. Yes you could see his Muscles but you call also see his ribs and his beaten internal organs. In contrast with the incomparable Pacman, who looked like someone who had been computer generated or chiseled from stone.
He claims he can still make the weight easily, but I’m not so sure. If he can, he has many options and the chance at unifying the division. If not, he’ll get eaten alive by those at 147lb. As we saw against Mayweather, a close decision win against a fairly average Luis Collazo and even a small 140lb’er in Manny Pacquiao. If he can’t out muscle his opponent, what chance has he got?
If he does call it a day, Ricky “Hitman” Hatton has been a great servant to British boxing, fighting at the highest level and on the grandest stages of them all, and I for one, wish him all the best in whatever he does next.