by T.K. Stewart

It wasn’t that long ago that Ray Hatton, father of Ricky Hatton, was a full-time carpet installer in and around Manchester, England. He was living a relatively normal life and had a son that was pretty good at boxing.

Fast forward a few years and things have changed dramatically. Ray is now his son’s business manager and is basically in charge of the multi-million dollar enterprise that has become Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton.

Instead of spending the day on his knees stretching and cutting carpets to fit alongside crooked walls, Ray Hatton now spends his hours at press conferences that are beamed around the world via the world-wide web. He reads over the minutiae of bout contracts, hammers out deals with promoters and casinos and has watched his son become one of the most famous prizefighters on the planet.

While all of that is a good thing - Ray Hatton says he and Ricky have one more goal - for ‘The Hitman’ to become the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

“We were hard negotiators and we got the fifty-fifty share so that was the first hurdle to overcome,” says Ray of the tooth and nail negotiations that will see his son face Manny Pacquiao on May 2nd in Las Vegas. “Now Ricky’s gotten a second chance to again go against the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Obviously Ricky wants to do it this time.”

Ray says his son’s fate was sealed the night that Pacquiao upset Oscar De La Hoya back in December.

“You know, for a few years now - and always, really, I suppose - it’s been Ricky’s goal to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Ricky wanted this fight against Pacquiao more than anything and the minute that Manny won against Oscar De La Hoya we moved quickly and we had already determined that was the fight we were going to give the nod to and go for.”

The multi-continent press tour to kick-off the big fight began this week with the first stop being the Hatton’s home country of England. Ray says his son, a thoroughbred of a fighter, is chomping a the bit and can’t wait to post up against Pacquiao.

“With Manny being rated as the best in the world, I must tell you that Ricky is really craving for it,” says Ray. “That’s the title that Ricky wants and he thinks that he has done most things in boxing and he thinks that if he beats Manny that’ll be the thing that really puts the icing on the cake, so to speak.”

While the future in boxing for any fighter is never certain, Ray gave his thoughts on what may happen should Ricky come away with a win in a fight that is now only 58 days away.

“I’m not going to say that if he was to beat Manny Pacquiao that it would be the end of the road for Ricky - it wouldn’t be - I don’t think,” says Ray. “But obviously it’s another step on the ladder - and a big one at that - and a win would go a long way toward fulfilling what Ricky has always wanted out of his career.”

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