Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

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 Kautondokwa Headlines Card in Windhoek, Namibia Jaron Ennis, Adam Daranyi Pick Up Knockout Wins in Virginia Miguel Cotto vs. Sadam Ali Lands on BoxNation Joshua: Wilder Needs to Stop Crying, Feeling Sorry for Himself Toka Kahn-Clary Stops David Berna in Two Rounds Photos: Gassiev, Wlodarczyk - On Weight, Ready For WBSS Battle Joe Joyce Makes Pro Debut, Stops Ian Lewison in Eight Round Luis Ortiz Suspended By WBA, No Longer Mandatory To Joshua Photos: Corrales Very Overweight: Machado, Andrade, Fox Ready Photos: Pedro Campa vs. Carlos Jimenez - Official Weights Golovkin's Coach To Charlo: You KO'd a Cripple, Wait Your Turn! Photos: Braekhus Prepared For Lauren Kiss Attempt at Weigh-In Isaac Zarate Will Aim To Impress Against Christian Esquivel Rob Brant: I'm Confident I'll Win Entire World Boxing Super Series Barrett: When I get in the ring I turn from a goldfish into a shark! Photos: Ryan Burnett, Zhanat Zhakiyanov - Ready For Unification David Benavidez on What He Learned From Gennady Golovkin Schaefer: Dorticos-Gassiev One of Boxing's Most Exciting Fights Demetrius Andrade: Fox Was The Only Guy Willing To Fight Me! Lara Sounds Off: Lubin Was a Child! I'll Beat Charlo! I'll Beat Hurd! Haye Says He Needs To Curb 'Control Freak' Behavior as Promoter N'Dam: 1000% Confident I'll Beat Murata - He Won't Touch Me Frank Warren Talks Josh Warrington vs. Dennis Ceylan, More Badou Jack: I Want To Fight a Racist, a Scumbag - Maybe Kovalev Porter: I Don't See Myself Retiring Without Fighting Errol Spence Wilder Urges: No More Hype, Joshua Fight Needs To Happen Now! Gabe Rosado: I Want Canelo, Daniel Jacobs, Lemieux Rematch! Fox: They Think I'm a Chump; I'll Show I Belong Against Andrade Gabe Rosado Batters, Stops Glen Tapia in Sixth Round Gabe Rosado vs. Glen Tapia - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Saunders: Lemieux is GGG's Leftover Dog Meat - I Want The Dog! Video: Abel Sanchez Talks Golovkin vs. Canelo, Gassiev, More Buster Douglas Backs Wilder Over Joshua, Shakes Head at PED Use Gabe Rosado vs. Glen Tapia - LIVE Results From Las Vegas Gassiev: WBSS is Best Way To Unify, Show I'm The Best at Cruiser News: Devin Haney, Shiro vs. Guevara, Reymart Gaballo Machado: Roach Gives Me Confidence, I'm Ready For Corrales Sullivan Barrera vs. Felix Valera Part of HBO Triple on Nov. 25 Video: Richard Schaefer Talks World Boxing Super Series Ronnie Shields: Lara's Style is His Style - I Won't Change it For Critics!
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement