By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
RICKY HATTON is overcoming the heartbreak of quitting the ring by punching his way through business.
Hatton has his biggest night as a fight arranger when he co-promotes Amir Khan’s latest defence of his WBA world light-welterweight title against Paul McCloskey on Saturday.
Hatton is so wrapped up in his promotional work he is even missing a trip to Wembley where his beloved Manchester City play neighbours United in the FA Cup semi-final on the same night.
Hatton said: “As much as I love City, my loyalty is to my fighters and I want Hatton Promotions to become a real success.”
Khan and McCloskey meet at Manchester’s MEN Arena and two-time IBF and IBO world light-welterweight champion Hatton will be one of the busiest men at ringside.
His promotional company has been heavily involved in the bill. Hatton, who also won the WBA world welterweight title, said: “It’s giving me a real buzz.”
Hatton has not fought since his X-rated KO at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in May 2009 and admits he is unlikely to climb into the ring again.
After going into The Priory last September for help with substance abuse, drink and depression, Hatton has been immersed in the build-up to Khan’s fight.
He said: “It is common knowledge I haven’t coped well with retirement, but you have to hit rock bottom before you get your a**e back into gear and that’s what I’ve done.”
Hatton has a growing stable of fighters, many of whom will be in action at the MEN, and he said: “I am getting my buzz from bringing these champions through.
‘‘If I didn’t have the promoting, there’s a good chance I would make a comeback because I’d have so much time on my hands.
“I didn’t cope very well with not having that feeling any more of having your hand raised, hearing the crowd cheer and going over to Vegas. I watched Ringside the other night and they showed a clip of my weigh-in for the Mayweather fight.
‘‘It brought a tear to my eye because every time I see a clip of my big nights, I think that’s never going to happen again.
“It’s heartbreaking but I’ve gone past that with the help of my promoting.”
THE Khan-McCloskey fi ght will be shown live on Primetime Channel 480 on Sky and streamed on www.primetimelive.co.uk from 8.00pm. To watch, call 0871 200 4444.