Ricky Hatton Announces Retirement From Boxing

Ricky Hatton called time on his professional boxing career on Thursday having been inactive as a prize fighter since May 2009 after a humiliating defeat to Manny Pacquiao, the eight-weight world champion, widely-regarded as the world’s No 1 fighter.

At various turns, there had been rumours over the last year that Hatton, a former world champion at light-welterweight and welterweight, was back in the gym and was flirting with the idea of a comeback. Wisely, he has chosen the right road.

Hatton, emotional and choked at a luncheon in London on Thursday, explained: “After a lot of soul searching over the last couple of years I have finally decided to confirm I will never box again and there will be no coming back.”

In time, Hatton’s career record, an impressive 45 wins and two defeats – those two losses to the pair of standout fighters of this generation, Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. – will see him recognised alongside the likes of Joe Calzaghe, Naseem Hamed, Lennox Lewis, Ken Buchanan, and potentially Carl Froch, as one of the greats in the modern era of British boxers.

Hatton’s greatest night, and indeed arguably his peak, was in 2005, forcing Hall of Fame fighter Kostya Tszyu, battered and disorientated, to retire on his stool after 11 rumbustious rounds to earn the IBF light-welterweight title.

[RELATED: Ricky Hatton career highlights [VIDEO]]

That night at the MEN Arena, Manchester, the last of Hatton’s twelve world title bouts there, propelled Hatton into the world’s top 10 pound for pound rankings, and paved the way to his earning a fortune in America, and widespread popularity with a Stateside audience.

Where Hatton will remain arguably untouchable amongst British all-comers down the ages is as one of the most popular fighters ever and best loved sportsmen. In that sense, Hatton transcended boxing.

Remarkably, the 32 year-old amassed a 30 million pound fortune as a prize fighter, yet he never lost the common touch. An unprecedented 35,000 fans travelled to Las Vegas to watch him fight Mayweather in December 2007.

The ubiquitous chant of ‘There’s only one Ricky Hatton-walking in a Hatton Wonderland”, has gone down in legend and is still talked about in the States today.

Following the defeat to Mayweather, a few months later a British record crowd of 58,500 packed into Eastlands, home of Manchester City Football Club, for Hatton’s homecoming to witness his triumph against Juan Lazcano.

Hatton’s last contest, in May 2009, will remain tinged with emotional regret after he was knocked out by Filipino great Pacquiao in Las Vegas in two one-sided rounds.

Ricky Hatton announces retirement from boxing

Hatton said: “There have been so many times since the Manny Pacquiao fight when I have woken up and thought I would give it one more go, but it was not to be. There have been amazing highs and although I always wanted to be a world champion I went beyond my wildest dreams.”

[RELATED: Manny Pacquiao vs Ricky Hatton fight video]

“Beating Kostya Tszyu was my greatest triumph, but there were plenty of other great nights and memories.

“Defeating Jose Luis Castillo, unifying the light-welterweight title against Carlos Maussa, winning a world welterweight title when I fought Luis Collazo, beating Jon Thaxton to become British champion, fighting in front of almost 60,000 fans on Manchester City’s ground-it seems endless.”

“When I look at my record the only men to beat me were Manny and Floyd – still number one and two in the pound-for-pound lists on the day I retire.”

Hatton added: “Since I put on the gloves as a ten-year-old in Hattersley boxing has been my life and still is. People say no fighter will ever have the fan base I had, but one of my aims is to make sure one of my boxers gets a bigger one and achieves more than me.“

Hatton reinforced the people in his life who had helped make his achievements possible, among them his partner Jennifer Dooley, and his family. Notably missing from the list was trainer Billy Graham, with whom Hatton had a well-publicised fallout and subsequent court case.

Hatton added: “As big a thanks as any must go to the fans that would never stop singing and so often turn Las Vegas into a corner of England. My fighting in the ring is over and I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new friends on my journey as a promoter.”

In 2006, Hatton’s was awarded a MBE in the New Year’s Honours list in recognition for his boxing achievements and charity work. He will now head up Hatton Promotions in the hope of developing world champions of his own.

SOURCE: The Telegraph – Ricky Hatton announces retirement from boxing by Gareth A Davies

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