Ricky Hatton Hangs ‘Em Up

By Robert Ecksel on July 7, 2011
Ricky Hatton Hangs ‘Em Up
You could say Ricky Hatton was this or that, whatnot, or the other thing

After an illustrious career, Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton has formally announced that his fighting days are over. The former junior welterweight and welterweight champion was as tough an hombre that ever walked the face of the earth. If his heart sometimes trumped his skills, Hatton’s heart was always up for the challenge.

The 33-year-old Hatton had his first fight in Nov. 1997, a first round KO over Colin McAuley, and compiled a 42-2, 32 KOs record.

Hatton beat Jon Thaxton to become the British light-welterweight champion in 2000, and topped out in 2005 when he upset champion Kostya Tszyu to win the IBF junior welterweight title.

He collected the WBA belt with a victory over Carlos Maussa in Nov. 2005. He defeated Luis Collazo to win the WBA welterweight title in Boston in May 2006. 

Hatton followed up that a UD12 over Juan Urango in Jan. 2007 to win the IBF welterweight strap. Hatton stopped Jose Luis Castillo six months later.

Later that year, on Dec. 8, 2007, Hatton challenged WBC welterweight king Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight was Hatton’s Samson vs. Mayweather’s Goliath. But because the Marquis of Queensberry Rules forbids slingshots, Hatton was stopped in round 10 and suffered his first loss.

Hatton picked up where he left off with a win over Juan Lazcano in Manchester, England, in May 2008, and TKO’d Paulie Malignaggi six months later.

All those wins put Hatton in line to fight Manny Pacquiao on May 2, 2009. If the fight with Mayweather was Samson vs. Goliath, the fight with Pacquiao was Samson vs. Thor. Pacman knocked Hatton out cold in the second round, and Ricky hasn’t fought since.

“I am very upset,” Hatton said today. “It’s a very sad day for me. 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.”

Go out on top. That’s the classy way to do it. Hatton may have lost to all-time greats—who hasn’t?—but he fought the best, and he always fought his best. Never gave less than 100%. Never quit. Never said die. Hatton was the kind of fighter you’d figure you’d have to drag from the ring kicking and screaming and clinging to the ropes. But not Hatton. He’s as full of surprises as he’s full of piss and vinegar.

“These last two years have been really frustrating,” Hatton said. “I hit rock bottom and it almost drove me insane.”

When Hatton says he hit “rock bottom,” you’d better believe it was rock bottom. When he say “it almost drove me insane,” trust me, it almost drove him insane.

You could say Hatton was this or that, whatnot, or the other thing. But he had balls of steel and a heart of gold. Who could ask for anything more?

“There’s nothing more I love than training for a fight, but I have no dreams left now.”

A man without dreams is man who has woken up. Congratulations to Ricky Hatton, a man who has woken up.

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  1. "Old Yank" Schneider 09:03pm, 07/12/2011

    Hatton took the world stage for a paltry 3 1/2 to 4 years, spanning nine bouts—Tszyu to Pacquiao (2005 to 2009). He was fortunate to catch Tszyu when he was essentially twice retired and never the same following his shoulder surgery (that gave him a whopping three rounds in over three years leading up to the Hatton bout—can you say “ring rust?”). Hatton did not win a single bout against a prime, elite fighter in his 3 1/2 years on the world stage. He indeed beat the sub-elite Maussa and the sub-elite Urango. Many argue that he LOST to Collazo. He took out a past-it, done as burnt toast, paycheck collecting Castillo (who had TWICE disgraced himself by failing to make weight in two previous bouts and was reported to be in deep, deep tax trouble). He lost badly to Mayweather. He had a very suspect showing against the sub-elite Lascano. He did manage a spectacular win against the feather-fisted Malignaggi. And he topped off his career with a stunning KO loss in only the second in-prime elite fighter he ever faced in his career, Pacquiao (never mind in his paltry four years on the world stage). A dispassionate, unemotional examination of Hatton’s nine bouts on the world stage deems him seriously short of Hall material.

  2. Paul 08:25pm, 07/08/2011

    Kostya retired on his stool because of his blue balls from the low blows the “hit man” served up all night and the fact he was half asleep from the time difference. Any other country Hatton would of been disqualified by the third round. It robbed boxing fans a real fight between Kostya and Floyd.

  3. Joe 10:08am, 07/08/2011

    The Hit Man’s greatest performance was the night he retired Kostya. Tszyu was a GREAT fighter.  Ricky showed me something that night - Kostya quit on his stool.

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