Ricky ‘Hitman’ Hatton has wisely hung up his gloves for good and many believe it is the right decision even though a couple of months ago the Mancunian slugger announced he would be fighting again soon.
Hatton announced his retirement from boxing on Thursday – bringing down the curtain on a glittering 14-year professional career. The former two-weight world champion has not fought since his defeat to Manny Pacquaio in May 2009, but until now had refused to confirm that he had hung up his gloves for good.
British boxing pundit Spencer Oliver who was a champion boxer himself before injury thwarted his career, says Hatton will go down in history as one of the best British boxers ever for beating some of the world’s best.
A comeback for the Hitman was mooted, with several big-name fighters including Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather Jr supposedly fitting the bill.
However, the 32-year-old has finally revealed he will never step into the ring again as a fighter. “I’ve known Ricky Hatton right from the beginning of his career, going back to the amateur days,” he said. “He’s been in some of the best fights in British history and you have to take your hat off to him – what a tremendous career.
“He always fought with his heart on his sleeve and he was always in tremendous fights – against Mayweather, against Pacquaio. Even if you go back as far as 2000 when he won the British title against Jon Thaxton, which was another thriller. Through his whole career he always produced the goods and he was so exciting.”
After beating Thaxton, Hatton went on to dominate the light-welterweight division before going up against IBF champion Kostya Tszyu in 2005. Despite being a massive underdog Hatton won in an explosive contest which saw the Australian’s corner throw in the towel just before the final round.
Oliver believes that will be the night that Hatton looks back on most fondly. “That was definitely his finest moment, without a doubt. He was in contest after contest but the Tszyu fight – I think Ricky will tell you himself – was his finest hour.”
Moving up to welterweight, Hatton defeated Luis Collazo to claim the WBA title, before heading to America as one of Britain’s leading sportsmen to fight first Mayweather and then Pacquaio.
On both occasions he would come up short as his opponents proved just why they were considered the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.