Hatton weighs in for Pacquiao fight
By Clive Bernath: Whilst Ricky Hatton is undecided whether or not to retire following his devastating second round knockout at the hands of pound for king Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas last weekend there was a slight indication that maybe at the back of his mind he has already made a decision.
Following the second defeat of his career at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Britain’s most popular fighter refused to be drawn into what decision he will make about his fighting future, saying. "I really don’t know at the minute, because I never thought that(losing) was ever going to happen.
“But people are still going to see plenty of me.
"I’ve been a great world champion, I’ve been the best in the world, and I think I can be the best promoter in the world and I think that is the avenue I want to go down."
Read into the above statement what you will but the fact is the 30 year-old was so severely punished for two rounds and ultimately knocked clean out, that maybe the time has now come to call it a day and enjoy the fruits of his labour in retirement.
But where did it all go so horribly wrong last weekend? When the fight was eventually announced lets be honest about it, especially many of the British press, this reporter included, thought Hatton would be too big and strong. The logical thinking was that despite Pacquiao’s incredible hand speed and the destruction job he did on a weight weakened Oscar De La Hoya, that Hatton’s natural strength at 140lbs would eventually wear the Filipino legend down.
Right up to fight week I thought the same but then reports started to emerge from the Hatton camp that there was unrest between Hatton, his trainer Floyd Mayweather Snr and assistant Lee Beard. Only they know exactly what went on behind closed doors but what really had the alarm bells ringing was seeing Hatton look so pale and gaunt at the weigh-in. Speaking to our Contributing Editor Paul Upham via telephone on the day of the fight I remember commenting that Hatton looked so weak and weight drained. We all know Hatton is famous for ballooning up and down in weight and looks pale at the best of times but on this occasion, to me, he looked paler than normal. Maybe, finally after all these years of binge drinking between fights it has finally caught up with him?
Maybe not having familiar faces such as Billy Graham and Kerry Kayes in his camp could be a factor? Who knows but in as much as Pacquiao’s incredible two fisted rocket launchers were responsible for destroying ‘The Hitman’ this was not vintage Hatton. I’m certainly not in any way trying to play down what is arguably the best win and most polished performance of Pacquiao’s incredible career to date but Hatton just never got going. Was it purely because that all the years of Hatton’s yo yo dieting has finally caught up with him? Or was it because he just could not cope with Pacquiao’s devastating speed and power? I suspect the answer lay somewhere in between.
Only Ricky Hatton himself knows the answer to those questions and when the time comes to make a decision on his future I’m sure he will make the right one. One thing is for sure, Ricky Hatton has been an excellent ambassador for British boxing and a shining example and role model to the young men of today.
May 5, 2009