Advertisement
Advertisement

Ricky Hatton Made The Right Call To Walk Away

By Mark Staniforth

It had just gone midnight in a subterranean press conference room at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Sunday morning when Ricky Hatton forced himself to accept that he had finally been beaten by the ticking of the clock.

By rights it was a clock that should have juddered to a halt for the last time three and a half years ago after a painful defeat to Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas which sent the ever-popular 'Hit Man' into a cycle of self-abuse and personal despair.

But sitting in that press conference room and peering deep into Hatton's terribly swollen eyes, it was difficult for even the staunchest critics of his boxing comeback to deny that he had earned the right to summon his one last shot.

The ravages of time and the wild, see-saw lifestyle of binge-drinking and crazy weight loss from which he somehow chiselled his extraordinarily successful career had finally contrived to leave him down and out in front of his home town fans.

But those of us who shook our heads in fear for his future as he was led tearfully from that ring for the final time as a fighter were reassured by an astonishingly honest speech from Hatton which suggested his comeback had not been entirely in vain.

As you would expect from a fighter whose style became a byword for ferocity during his journey from the leisure centre in Widnes where it all started in 1997 to the giant billboards of the Las Vegas Strip, Hatton pulled no punches.

He spoke eloquently and with searing honesty about his need to make a comeback, to repel the demons that had threatened to hijack his head, to have one more fight to bring the kind of closure which could put his combative mind at rest.

In the privacy of his dressing room, in the hour or so it took between being cheered from the ring by his ever-loyal army of fans and coming to meet the media, Hatton mercifully reached the right conclusion.

Worryingly in a certain respect, it was one which Hatton conceded he reached on his own, some in his team urging him to bide his time before making up his mind, ever-willing with the list of excuses which could tempt him to fight again.

Paulie Malignaggi sat at ringside, their world title fight in New York early next year apparently already inked. Despite Hatton's defeat on Saturday night, it was a fight that could quite easily still have been made.

Richard Schaefer, the chief of Golden Boy Promotions in the US who has never laced on the gloves in his life, inexcusably waded into the argument by insisting overnight it was a fight that could and should still happen.

Amid the nonsensical utterings of hangers-on too concerned for the health of their own future pay packets, Hatton, to his credit, ignored the rubbish and told it, his voice occasionally cracking with emotion, just like it is.

Britain may see better fighters than Hatton. Joe Calzaghe was among the stars sat at ringside as a gleaming antidote to the idea that all fine fighters will go to the well once too often.

But it is almost inconceivable that the nation will ever again embrace a fighter who is quite so popular, who could drag tens of thousands halfway across the world to take over the most famous fight city in the world.

In years to come Hatton will not be remembered for falling onto all fours against Vyacheslav Senchenko or even for his brutal second-round defeat to Manny Pacquiao.

It is those nights against Kostya Tszyu, Juan Urango, Jose Luis Castillo and spectacularly, despite defeat, Floyd Mayweather, that will remain etched in the memory of all those fortunate to piggy-back the 'Hit Man' across the pond.

The clock will keep ticking, but time will only serve to embellish the extent of Hatton's achievements. With the adulation comes the profound hope that the next chapter for the 'Hit Man' need not be as bleak as we all once feared.

Mark Staniforth covers boxing for PA Sport.

Tags: Ricky Hatton image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by mikeMack on 11-27-2012

To run a successful promotional company one has to have management skills and a business mind and have an understanding of raising and keeping capital along with a business plan. Hatton is not smart enough to run a company and…

Comment by HattonFaithful on 11-27-2012

[QUOTE=mikeMack;12743210]What does the wee Elf hatton do now since going out at home on his knees again Ko'd? Broke with addictions haunting him along with the KO loss? These things don't ever turn out well.[/QUOTE] He has a promotional company…

Comment by ddangerous on 11-27-2012

[QUOTE=taansend;12742500]Why? He lost a load of weight, got some self respect back & earned a load of money into the bargain.[/QUOTE] This.^^^^^

Comment by Brockton Lip on 11-27-2012

He is still likely going to fight Paulie in NY. Its a big money title shot that many still feel he could win.

Comment by mikeMack on 11-27-2012

What does the wee Elf hatton do now since going out at home on his knees again Ko'd? Broke with addictions haunting him along with the KO loss? These things don't ever turn out well.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (14)
Top Headlines Ed Brown Continues Busy Schedule, TV Networks Interested Peralta: Until Recently I Went Hungry, I Suffered A lot, Overcame It Canelo: Let's See if Liam Smith is The Fighter He Says He Is Jack Asis Calls it a Day, Decides To Retire From Boxing Cuadras: Chocolatito is Too Small, I Will Get The Job Done Don King: Povetkin-Stiverne Can Go To Russia, Putin is My Friend Sugar Ray Leonard on What Brook Needs To Shock Golovkin Juanma Calls Vazquez a Clown, Reveals Details of Catch-Weight Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Canelo, Khan, Golovkin-Brook, More Sergio Mora: That Was No Knockdown vs. Jacobs; Was All My Ankle Video: Kell Brook Glowing With Confidence as Golovkin Nears Joshua-Pulev, Parker-Price, Whyte-Chisora Triple on 11/26? Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Joshua's Return, DeGale, Jack, Smith Amir Khan: I Want The Danny Garcia Fight, I Want Him in May Malignaggi vs. El Mousaoui in Line For EBU Clash, Bundu Stripped Brook: I've Faced Death, Golovkin is Fun - I'll Rip Into Him! Canelo: When My Body is Ready, I'll Take on Anyone and Everyone Tyrone Brunson vs. Ismael Garcia Tops 10/14 Card in Philly Joseph Diaz Jr. Feels He’s Close to a Title Shot After Cancio Fight Joseph Parker's Handlers Interested in Facing David Price Next Daniel Jacobs Wants To ‘Hurt’ Sergio Mora, ‘Shut That Trap Of His’ Canelo: Golovkin-Brook? GGG Should Have Shut His Mouth! Joseph Parker's Coach Discusses Strategy For Dimitrenko Clash Clearing The Deck For The Fall: BoxingScene Ratings Update Golovkin Ready To Jump Right Back To The UK For Saunders Fight Gamache Warns Not To Underestimate Svensson in Lauren Bout Chisora To Whyte: Let's Do It and I'll Whoop Your Ass - It's Easy! Canelo Jabs Critics: Nobody Will Pressure Me Into Golovkin Fight! Chocolatito To Finish With 113 Rounds of Sparring For Cuadras Imminent Big Fights Prompt 2017 Wish List Canelo Smiles: Lara Calling Out GGG, Golovkin Won't Fight Him! Danny Roman Hopes To Continue Raising His Competition Joseph Parker's Younger Brother To Make Pro Debut on October 1 David Lemieux Had Surgery To Repair a Torn Meniscus Jean-Claude Van Damme Wants Mayweather-Pacquiao II Eric Molina: If No David Price - Bring on David Haye Showdown! Del Valle Provides a Tough Litmus Test For De La Hoya, Team Says Canelo: I'm Making History - Golovkin is Older and Fought Nobody! Rosado, Monroe Exchange Harsh Words Ahead of Sept. 17 Fight Ray Edwards, Former NFL Veteran, Inks Boxing Promotional Pact
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement