18th April 2011

Ricky ‘The Hitman’ hatton – drawing by. jonmckenzieart.co.u
What keeps a fighter coming back to the ring, when their obvious better days are behind them?
Can only a boxer explain this? Or are we all guilty of living our lives in cycles? 
History is constantly repeated in our lives and in more cases than not we stick to what we know best and our comfort zones.

Ricky Hatton has apparently been offered a chance to step back into his comfort zone and put his pending retirement plans on hold to return to the ring against Mexican legend Erik Morales in a multi million pound showdown, of ex world champions and one last trip to the boxing well that boxers find so hard to resist.

Hatton 33, is yet to officially announce his retirement from the ring, although it was believed that the day was soon looming! Given the former light-welterweight and welterweight world champion’s involvement in his boxing promotional company and the dynasty he is now trying to build, on the safe side of the ropes.

But just when we thought we would be waving Ricky off into the history books of boxing greats, it seems it is now his addiction to the fight game which is being fed by the man who man who deals in big fights and adrenaline fixes Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy promotions fight den.

In an article by Ed Sheeran for the ‘News of the World’ tabloid, it is claimed Oscar put the proposal to Ricky and his team on the ‘Golden Boy’s’ recent trip to the UK for the Amir Khan, Paul McCloskey fight at the MEN arena at the weekend.

Hatton’s Lawyer confirmed the meeting and that the offer is on the table for Ricky to decide. Hatton no doubt still holds the burning desires to re-live the glory nights of his illustrious career. The crowds cheers and adulation will still ring in his ears, he misses the 45 times he had his hand raised by the referee in triumph, when he was one of the best fighters around at any weight and certainly the most followed fighter of modern times.

The Hitman, has not fought since his second round knockout loss to Manny Pacquiao in May 2009. After that fight Ricky couldn’t cope with his sudden fall from boxing grace and after that devastating defeat to the pound for pound king, we saw him spiral into a publicised drug and booze fuelled depression, when on one lonely night it must have dawned on him… he would never be the same fighter again!

Manchester’s favorite boxing son says he had to hit rock bottom before he could start to re-build. Ricky has been looking in good health and seems contented and dedicated as he comes to terms with his new role. Set for life from career earnings, he and girlfriend Jennifer are expecting there first child and he certainly has nothing to prove to his fans, who he gave so much to.
Erik ‘El Terrible’ Morales

Erik Morales 34, is a four weight world champion, a ring legend who has won the hearts of boxing fans with his toe to toe battles with some of the best fighters of his era, including his amazing trilogy with Marco Antonio Barrera. Morales was the last man to defeat Manny Pacquiao facing the Filipino champion three times, winning in 2005 and then losing the other two fights in 2006.

He himself retired from boxing in 2007 after his points loss to David Diaz for the WBC lightweight title, bringing the curtain down on an amazing career that sees him enter, not only the boxing hall of fame, but the hearts and minds of boxing fans around the globe. He himself has listened to the worries over his health and seemingly crazy decision to carry on.

But boxing’s ‘wild horses’ always seem to drag the pugilist back to the place he knows best, the space where he feels more comfortable, the area where he is in control, the and domain where he is adored and held in esteem by even his peers. The Ring!

Hatton 100% believed he was going to beat Pacquiao in his last fight, and that is why when he was knocked out cold in that second round, he had not only been devastated by the defeat, but the circumstances of it. He never imagined in his worst nightmares that he would bow out of the game in such fashion.

He will feel he didn’t deserve to go out like that, he will feel cheated by fate and will always have the desire to go out on top. And that is why he will contemplate this fight and may just feel that this is the one to relight the fire, the one that will make him get up again at 6am to go running, begin dieting, sacrifice his pleasures to prepare himself for pain and somehow shape shift his body from a plump ex fighter, back into a 10 stone fighting machine, ripped and gaunt with cheek bones protruding his tightened skin.

Hatton (47-2, 32KO’s) against Morales would almost look like a fight scene from the console game ‘Fight Night’ a concept where boxers from different era’s and weights can be matched together in fantastic graphic detail. The fantasy questions of, ‘what if he were ever to have fought him? – can be controlled and is determined by the thumbs of the everyday gamer.

But back to reality and Hatton against Morales probably isn’t meant to happen! But this is the fight game! People can tell ‘The Hitman’ and ‘El Terrible’ they shouldn’t fight again, but that decision lies with the men who take the punches and endure the physical and emotional pain of there chosen professions.

Fight Night Champion! – Ricky Hatton wins KO3 vs Floyd Mayweather Jnr!!

Morales (58-7, 35KO’s) since his comeback in March 2010 has had 4 fights, winning the first three before losing a controversial points decision to the big banging Marcos Maidana. But in that defeat to Maidana, the Mexican idol, proved that once a fighter always a fighter and he pushed the Argentinian all the way with many observers believing he deserved the verdict, including this one.

Morales himself has been guilty of burning the candle at both ends in the past and has ballooned in weight between fights like Hatton. But it has been the promise of big fights and huge paydays plus the opportunity to cement his legacy and ring career. But more than that it is the fighting light within a boxer that never goes out and when wafted becomes a flame again, and when fed with fuel becomes a roaring blaze, that eventually can only be quelled with gloves.

by Chris Maylett – editor www.britishboxers.co.uk
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