Ricky Hatton still firmly believes that David Haye can unify the heavyweight division and has called on the former WBA world champion to postpone his retirement.
Haye surrendered his WBA belt to Wladimir Klitschko last week after being out-pointed by the Ukrainian in a largely one-sided contest in Hamburg.
Despite blaming the defeat on a broken toe, Haye's failure to deliver the explosive performance he promised in his pre-fight rhetoric has led many to suggest that the Londoner is not capable of realising his dream of beating Wladimir and his brother Vitali, who hold all the belts in the heavyweight division.
Haye has always said he will retire before his 31st birthday in October, but he is now reconsidering those plans, with a rematch against Wladimir, or a contest against WBC champion Vitali, a possibility.
Hatton, a former two-weight world champion, called time on his glittering boxing career yesterday, but he does not want Haye to follow suit.
"The decision is his but I think retirement is a bit too early for him," Hatton said.
"I think he should give it a couple more fights. He still has a lot to offer."
The 'Hitman' enjoyed some of his most memorable moments in the ring in Las Vegas while Haye has never boxed in the sport's most glamorous city.
Haye's only two fights outside Europe came early in his career as a cruiserweight when he fought Roger Bowden in Florida and Vance Winn at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills.
Earlier this week Golden Boy Promotions chief Richard Schaefer said that Haye should rebuild his career in the United States and Hatton agrees.
"It would be nice for David Haye to see the Hayemaker's name up in lights in Las Vegas like I had. He's not had the chance to do that yet," said Hatton, who fought five times in Vegas.
"It would be nice for him to go to America, re-establish himself over there and come back and get a rematch over here with Wladimir or fight Vitali.
"He is still the most exciting heavyweight in the division. I am proud to call him a friend and I think if he does come back we will get right behind him."
Haye's camp complained that underhand tactics from the Klitschkos and the Londoner's toe injury meant the Briton was at a disadvantage for the fight in Germany last Saturday.
The fact that Haye was giving away three inches in height and over two stone in weight, however, meant Klitschko was always a firm favourite to win and the judges rightly scored heavily in his favour.
But Hatton, who only lost twice in his 47-fight career, thinks Haye is good enough to beat either Klitschko on his day.
Hatton said: "It just didn't happen for him on that night. Some nights you turn up and it just doesn't work. You have to hold your hands up and say, 'Listen, that's why the Klitschkos have been dominating the division for a decade'.
"But David is still the most exciting heavyweight. He is capable of beating Wladimir and Vitali. I just don't think it happened for him on that night."
Tags: Wladimir Klitschko , Vitali Klitschko , David Haye , Klitschko-Haye , Klitschko vs Haye , Ricky Hatton