Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton may have retired from boxing, but he has been in many a great fight..
Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton was once an irresistible force in boxing, a global superstar with a Welterweight record and reputation to match the very best in the sport. But boxing has moved on since Hatton was in his prime and, as he looks to make a comeback as a mature fighter, he will face various threats to his record of 45 wins and two losses.
But for now his record stands, and it is well worth a look back at The Pride of Hyde’s greatest moments in the ring.
Ricky Hatton vs Kostya Tszyu
When 22,000 people squeezed into the Manchester Evening News Arena on June 4th 2005 to see hometown boy Ricky Hatton fight Kostya Tszyu, few Mancunians held serious hope for their man. Tszyu was undefeated for the previous eight years and had established himself as an Australian hero with his domination of the light welterweight division.
Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Ricky Hatton
Arguably the biggest fight of Hatton’s career, this titanic clash at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas pitted two previously undefeated fighters against each other. Billed as Britain vs America, the fight was heavily promoted on both sides of the Atlantic ahead of the big night on December 8th, 2007. For three rounds, Hatton looked in with a chance of continuing his 43-match winning streak. But some stiff blows and the onset of fatigue left him vulnerable to Mayweather’s might. Hatton lost by technical knockout in the 10th round.
The crowd at the City of Manchester Stadium on May 24th 2008 set a post-war record for boxing events. More than 55,000 people came to see Ricky Hatton’s ‘homecoming’ bout, after he had sustained his first career defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr. It was crucial to Hatton’s career that he proved his doubters wrong. He scraped through against the embattled Lazcano, enduring scary moments in rounds eight and 10 to eventually pull through to win with judges scores of 120-110, 118-110 and 120-108.
Ricky Hatton vs Paulie Malignaggi
Having shared the bill with Hatton at the City of Manchester Stadium, Paulie Malignaggi challenged The Hitman to the IBO & Ring Magazine Light Welterweight Championships at the site of Hatton’s only career defeat, The MGM Grand. With Malignaggi claiming Hatton was past his best, and Hatton admitting before the fight that defeat would lead to his retirement, much was at stake. A tumultuous, long, gruelling fight ended when Malignaggi’s trainer Buddy McGirt threw in the towel in the 11th round. Judges scores of 99-91 suggested continuing would indeed have been futile for the American.
Ricky Hatton vs Manny Pacquiao
It is not often in his career that Ricky Hatton has been knocked down twice in the opening round of a match. But that is what happened against Manny ‘Pac-Man’ Pacquiao of The Philippines on May 2nd 2009 at the MGM Grand. Hatton was ranked the underdog against Pacquiao, who was known at the time as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Hatton defiantly told the press: “This fat, beer-drinking Englishman is going to shock the world again”. In front of a sell-out, 16,262 crowd, Hatton was knocked out in the second round.
This post was written by Phil Whetstone, a boxing fanatic and keen motorsport blogger.