7th July 2011
Ricky Hatton has announced his retirement from the ring today, deciding that his future in boxing lies in the promotion side of things and his commitment to producing champions, finally coming to terms, that at 33, his fighting days are through.
The Hitman amassed an impressive record of 47 fights, 45 wins, 32 KO’s and 2 losses in a fantastic career. His two defeats came against the two best fighters of the generation, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, when Hatton not tempted to rest on his world championship success, but to chase the worlds elite fighters.
“I am very upset. It’s a very sad day for me. said Hatton.
“I know it is the right decision though. I’ve known it was the right thing to do for 18 months to be honest.
“It’s a bit of a relief to finally do it. It’s been hovering over my head for such a long time.
“These last two years have been really frustrating. I hit rock bottom and it almost drove me insane.
“There’s nothing more I love than training for a fight but I have no dreams left now.” Hatton added.
The two-weight former world title holder’s decision will not come as a major surprise to boxing fans, who have expected an announcement of some kind for a while. Hatton has gone on to be a successful promoter since his last fight in May 2009 against Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Hatton failed to come to terms with the manner of his second round knockout defeat to Pacquaio and subsequently slipped into a drug and drink fuelled depression. But an initial comeback was touted in 2010, but then shelved when Ricky’s private life was exposed in the press and the demons of defeat and self realisation got too much for the Manchester man and he was admitted to the Priory for treatment.
With his life back on track and a new found focus, Ricky can now reflect on his career and trodden path with focus and pride, without carrying the burden of what if. The determined kid from a council estate in Manchester, achieved success, fame and fortune beyond his wildest dreams.
During them ‘Hatton wonderland day’s’ he was an ambassador for the British game and carried that baton with an exciting all action style and tenacity, that will long be remembered within boxing and by those who witnessed the terrific nights in his home City arena the MEN, and his fights in Las Vegas when masses of fans followed him over the Atlantic.
He beat Jon Thaxton to take the British light-welterweight title in 2000 and went on to dominate the division domestically before moving on to fight a run of International opposition, blowing away everyone in his path and the British fans loved his style and were endeared by his boy next door, one of the lads way of ‘The Hitman’
Ricky will will best remembered for his 2005 victory over pound-for-pound great Kostya Tszyu, winning the IBF light-welterweight title in front of his home fans on a emotional night. Hatton at his peak worn down Tszyu, who quit at the end of round eleven round, Ricky that night was not to be denied.
In his next fight he added the WBA title with a 9th round knockout over Carlos Maussa before heading off to conquer America. He defeated Luis Collazo in Boston to become a two-weight world champion as WBA welterweight king.
The first of his many unforgettable Las Vegas nights came with victory over Juan Urango in 2007 to add the IBO light-welterweight strap to his collection.
The biggest fight of his career came later that year when his WBC welterweight clash with Floyd Mayweather Jr – in one of the most eagerly awaited fights of the modern era, making the Mancunian a good nest egg and financial security. The biggest fight of his life ended in his first career defeat to Mayweather, he was stopped in the 10th round, but not before giving Mayweather one of his toughest fights to date. Mayweather said after the fight, ‘Now I know why they call him ‘The Hitman!’
He returned to the ring after that fight to an massive homecoming occasion and in front of around 50,000 fans at his beloved Manchester City ground ‘Eastlands stadium in 2008 – defeated Juan Lazcano on points to retain his IBO title and get his back on the chase for more success.
Ricky Hatton Career Highlights
A good win against New York’s Paulie Malignaggi then set up another pound-for-pound super fight with Manny Pacquiao in May 2009. But his hopes of becoming The No 1 best in the world failed, when he was were knocked out in two rounds.
Hatton has spent the past two years refusing to confirm his retirement, which has only led to increased speculation that he would give it one last go, rather than go out on a loss. But despite offers of mega-money clashes with superstar names like lightweight king Juan Manuel Marquez and former three-weight champion Erik Morales, it became increasingly clear that Hatton’s fighting days were behind him.
He has gone on to build a successful boxing promotion business and now represents some of Britain’s up and coming boxers and stars of the future. He led brother, Matthew, to the European welterweight crown, as well as securing him two world title shots.
Anthony Crolla became British lightweight champion, under the Hatton banner – and in September is set to take on Eric Morales on the undercard of Mayweather’s own comeback fight against Victor Ortiz in Las Vegas.
British and Commonwealth middleweight champion Martin Murray has prospered with Hatton and is ready to step up to European and world level soon. Olympian Joe Murray is making steady progress under Hatton’s guidance, as is Manchester’s Craig Watson who became British welterweight champion thanks to Hatton.
Denton Vassell won the Commonwealth title and Scott Quigg is on the verge of a world title shot at super-bantamweight.
He also helped Matthew Macklin land the European middleweight crown, while another of his fighters, Gary Sykes, won Prizefighter. Ricky has put all his own money into his promotional company and supports and will continue to support amateur and professional boxing.
In his personal life, Hatton has enjoyed spending time with his son Campbell, while girlfriend Jennifer Dooley is expecting their first child together.
We wish Ricky all the best in his retirement and with the work he does for his Promotion company. Hatton always wore his heart on his sleeve and can leave boxing and hang his gloves up with pride. He did more than many boxers will ever do and then chased the dream even further.
British boxing and fight fans will always hold the kid from Hattersley close to their hearts and for those who were taken along on his boxing journey will never forget ‘The Hitman’
Thanks for the memories Ricky!
By Chris Maylett
video courtesy of www.hattonboxing.com
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