By Craig Watt
It has been three months since Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton (45-2, 32 KOs) lost inside two rounds to Manny Pacquiao at the MGM in Las Vegas. Until now, the 30-year-old former IBF, WBA and IBO light welterweight and WBA welterweight champion has been tight lipped about his boxing future and discussion about the devastating loss to Pacquiao in May. He has shunned all media requests for interview and discussion about his boxing future but today in the UK gave his fans some insight into his thoughts about the Pacquiao fight and his future with a full length interview on Sky Sports News. He stated, “There has been so much written about me in recent weeks that has been untrue that I thought it was about time I started doing some interviews and clearing up the issues I am reading about on a daily basis.”
On the Manny Pacquiao defeat, Hatton was quite open and frank about his preparation for the fight and stated, “To be honest when I walked to the ring on the night of the fight I knew I had left my best preparation in the gym three weeks previous. Before I went to the US to finish my training my weight was spot on and I felt great but when I arrived I think I had left everything in the gym in the UK. I knew my sparring in Las Vegas had not gone well and when I entered the ring I remember saying to myself that all I needed was one big shot and I could take out Manny and that was my hope. I knew it was going to be a big ask and by the time the first knockdown came it was Pacquiao that had landed fifty eight punches on me and I just couldn’t get into the rhythm I wanted to. I had my hands held low and everything was all wrong. It was a devastating loss and I still haven’t watched the fight and not sure when I will be ready to see the fight. It went from my best training camp in the UK to my worst ever camp when I overdid it in the last three weeks. That is the only things that niggles me about the fight and calling it a day. I know with better preparation I could have done better.”
When asked about his future in boxing he added, “I must admit when I see young lads get knocked out now it sends a shiver down my spine. I haven’t decided whether to carry on boxing or not but I know that I am going to have a good long rest from the sport before deciding either way. I have been doing this professional game of boxing now for 13-years and I have crammed 47 fights in that 13-years and they have been some tough fights. I have never been a master of defence and so those 47 fights have been exactly that – tough fights. I just think for the time being I have just had enough of it, for the time being. I am just going to enjoy the time with the family and my son Campbell and put my feet up. If one day I wake up and think I am ready to get the gloves back on, then I will return, but likewise-if that date doesn’t come, I won’t return and I know I have only been beaten by the two best pound for pound fighters in the world by Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio and there is no shame in that. I have won 5 world titles in two weight divisions and had a post war record crowd of 56,000 at the City of Manchester Stadium so I can hold my head up high. I may give it another go after a good rest but I will have to say watch this space and wait and see. At the moment I am not thinking about boxing and just getting on with my promoting.”
When questioned about a possible match with new WBA 140 pound champion Amir Khan he stated, “I am delighted for Amir–he has really turned his career around after a bad defeat and his performance was deserved for all his efforts. He is a wonderful talent and is on the start of his career. If I do decide to continue then this is a fight that would be a big night for British boxing, but it is well documented about my problems with Frank Warren and it would be a non starter unless I promoted it and not Frank. It all depends on whether I decide to continue boxing again however.”
Hatton is proud of this new venture into the promotional arena and stated, “I have signed some good fighters into my gym here in Manchester which cost over £2m to set up and I am really enjoying putting something back into the sport that has been so good to me for thirteen years. You will see some exciting fighters coming through this gym in the years to come I am sure. The facility is a credit to all my team. You will see a lot of me in the sport but at the moment it will be as a promoter, outside the ropes until I make up my final mind on the future and whether to get back inside the ropes again.”
Overall, Hatton has enjoyed a successful boxing career with one of the biggest fan bases in recent boxing times and many believe that after a rest he will return to the boxing ring to face Khan in one of the biggest UK fights in the last twenty five years. Until that time however he is committed to his new career as a promoter in the sport.