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 Amir Khan: I Think It's Great To Be The Underdog Barroso's Adviser: If Crolla Tries To Trade, He Will Get KO'd Quickly Showtime Inks Anthony Joshua To Multi-Fight Deal Anthony Joshua's Promoter Plots Out Next Fights After Breazeale Butler vs. Kokeitgym Title Eliminator Set for June 4 Canelo Doubts Khan Will Switch Style, Create a Boring Fight Gassiev Told Promoter That Povetkin Has Good Shot To Stun Wilder Crolla: There Are Questions, I'll Find Out How Good Barroso Is Nathan Cleverly To Feature On Burns-Di Rocco Bill Mike Mollo Faces Rudenko in Odessa; SES 6/4 Card Shapes Up Lucas Matthysse Could Return To The Ring in The Fall Video: De La Hoya Talks Mayweather, Canelo, Khan, More De La Hoya: In Mayweather Rematch, it's 70-30 in Canelo's Favor! Mikhaylenko, Chuprakov Back in Action in Ekaterinburg Khan Prepared To Make Things Ugly To Prevail: A Win is a Win Video: De La Hoya Pumped During Canelo-Khan Fight Week Khan: I Took The Tougher Fight, Mayweather Easier Than Canelo! Vlasov Dominates Bykhovtsev, Sillakh Clash Up Next on June 2 Video: Canelo Discusses Khan in Two-Part Media Interview Video: Amir Khan Two-Part Media Interview on Canelo Canelo: Lara, Mayweather Fights Helped Me Get Ready For Khan Photos: Canelo, Khan Grand Arrival Frenzy at MGM Grand Video: Canelo, Khan Grand Arrivals at MGM Grand, Las Vegas De La Hoya: Canelo-Khan Easily Beats Pac-Bradley 3 PPV Numbers Wilder vs. Povetkin Undercard Coming Together: Bivol, Ochigava Roach: I Want Tapia To Be Smart, Box Lemieux All Fight Khan: Mayweather is Bitter, Everyone Talking About Me, Canelo Jack-Bute, DeGale-Medina: Ratings For Showtime Double Amir Khan expects Canelo to weigh 175 on fight night Sadam Ali Return Likely For Vargas-Salido Bill Korobov vs. Vera Clash Set For Alvarado-Torres Card Khan: I Think Fury, Haye Beat Joshua at The Moment Stephen Smith Added To Bellew-Makabu Undercard Stevens breaks down Canelo-Khan and the Caneloweight Hunter: If I Had Khan at 9, We Wouldn't Be Talking Mayweather Video: Chisora vs. Pulev Heated Confrontation at Presser Video: Amir Khan on Floyd Mayweather's Comeback, Canelo Photos: Tony Bellew vs. Ilunga Makabu Press Conference Photos: Chisora, Pulev Erupts With Near Brawl at Presser IBF Formally Orders Wake vs. Guzman 122-Pound Title Fight
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement