Ricky Hatton, one of the most beloved figures in boxing, has taken his rightful place in history as a member of the 2024 International Boxing Hall of Fame class. The British fighter, known for his immense popularity, concluded his career with a record of 45-3, including 32 knockouts.

During his induction speech, Hatton reminisced about his greatest moment in the ring—defeating Kostya Tszyu. Tszyu, now recognized by a younger generation as the father of rising star Tim Tszyu, was a formidable opponent. Hatton recalled the pivotal words from his trainer, Billy Graham, between rounds.

“This is what we worked hard for when you were 16 years old and you used to sit on that step outside the gym in Manchester,” Hatton remembered Graham saying. “We used to talk about being the best in the world, not just a world champion, but the best in the world and going to Las Vegas.”

Graham’s encouragement resonated deeply with Hatton.

 “You will never forgive yourself if you throw the towel in now, Ricky,” he recalled. 

The words fueled Hatton’s determination, and despite the grueling nature of the fight, he found a final burst of energy. When the referee stopped the fight, Tszyu quit on his stool. Hatton emerged victorious, even joking about the 2 a.m. fight time, quipping, "Everybody in Manchester fights at 2 o'clock in the morning.”

Hatton became a two-weight world champion, moving from junior welterweight to welterweight to claim titles. His induction into the Hall of Fame cements his legacy as one of the greatest fighters of his era.

“I am very humbled,” Hatton said of his Hall of Fame induction. “I cried when I went to the museum and saw my plaque on the wall.”

The placement of his plaque particularly moved Hatton. “It was only two frames away from Roberto Duran, and Roberto Duran was my hero. If you had told me I’d have a plaque in the Hall of Fame two pictures away from Roberto Duran, I would have said you’re stupid.”