Sunday, June 04, 2023  |



Hatton should hang up his gloves

Fighters Network

The chilling manner in which Ricky Hatton was knocked out by Manny Pacquiao Saturday in Las Vegas should cause the popular British fighter to seriously consider retirement for the sake of his health. Photo / Naoki Fukuda

LAS VEGAS – It should be over for Ricky Hatton.

Hatton has had a story book career, but it came to a crashing halt when Manny Pacquiao landed that paralyzing lightning bolt of a left hand that sent him to the canvas in a motionless heap in the second round of their Las Vegas showdown Saturday night.

“It was a hard a hard loss but I'm OK,”┬Ø Hatton said 45 minutes after the fight ended, just before he took a ride to Valley Hospital.

“I really didn't see the punch coming, but it was a great shot. I know I'll be OK.”

He will be OK provided he calls it quits.

If Hatton doesn't realize his career is over, the chilling manner in which he was stretched flat on his back for several minutes after the fight was waved off by referee Kenny Bayless should let his family and confidants know that they should seriously talk to him about retiring.

There's nothing wrong with walking away from boxing as a wealthy, healthy 30 year old.

Hatton's got nothing to be ashamed of. He was simply outclassed by the best fighter in the world, as he was when he faced Floyd Mayweather Jr. in December of 2007.

Only this time Hatton wasn't just fighting the pound-for-pound king, he was trying to duke it out with the Baddest Man on the Planet.

And like one of the many victims of the prime Mike Tyson, the last fighter to hold that “BMOTP”┬Ø moniker, Hatton was summarily dismissed by the superior fighter.

The fact that top heavyweights of the 1980s like contender Carl Williams, titleholder Tony Tubbs, and even a linear champ and bona fide hall of famer like Michael Spinks were blown out in one or two rounds by Tyson didn't mean they weren't good fighters.

It just meant that they got in the ring with the wrong dude at the wrong time.

Hatton gave it his best shot but one minute into the opening round it was evident that he didn't stand a chance.

Spinks probably realized that he had no shot against Tyson before he entered the ring.

Not Hatton. To his credit, he really believed he could beat Pacquiao. So much so that he got up from two devastating knockdowns in the first round and really tried to make it a fight in the second round.

The stocky little pressure fighter had his moments before Pacquiao turned his lights out just before the bell.

That kind of guts and spirit is what has endeared Hatton to his legion of fans over the past decade. They still cheered for him, and still sang his songs, after he was brutally knocked out.

He's lucky to have such loyal fans.

He's lucky to have caught a future hall of famer like Kostya Tszyu at the right time.

He's lucky to have emerged at a time when British boxing was looking for a star.

He's lucky to have made the amount of money he has during his four-year junior welterweight title reign, in which time he defended the linear crown six times and engaged in two super fights against the pound-for-pound best in the sport.

He's also lucky that he was able to leave the ring under his own power Saturday night.

Hatton has been fortunate in life. He should do what Spinks did after the Tyson fight and retire so he can enjoy it.

Doug Fischer can be reached at [email protected]