2009 Could Be Ricky Hatton's Final Year In Boxing - But "The Hitman" Is Planning To Go Out In Style!

by James Slater - 30-year-old Ricky Hatton is proud of the year he has had in 2008. Coming back as he did from his first pro loss, a KO loss at that, Hatton feels a sense of satisfaction from the way he has been able to bounce back from the 10th round stoppage loss to Floyd Mayweather Junior that befell him in December of 2007..

Ricky HattonOkay, Hatton looked a little shaky from the get-go, out-pointing an inactive former lightweight in Juan Lazcano, and being hit and wobbled far more than he'd have liked throughout the 12 exciting rounds. But then, in his next fight some six months later, Hatton was back to his very best - forcing the once-beaten Paulie Malignaggi (or the corner of Malignaggi) to throw in the towel in the 12th and final round. After the way he won every round but the 1st against the slick New Yorker, Hatton had/has the right to feel satisfied. Also, having taken on new trainer Floyd Mayweather Senior, Hatton added some new ideas to his fighting approach.

Now, in talking to Sky Sports news just a few days before this year wraps, Hatton has spoken of his big plans for 2009. As we know, there are two fighters that are higher on Ricky's radar than anyone else - current pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao, and his predecessor Floyd Mayweather. Hatton would love to meet both greats in 2009, a year that may well be his final one in the sport.

Hatton began by talking to Sky about how proud he is after what he was able to accomplish this year.

"It's be the best year of my boxing life in the sense I had to come back from a first defeat and knockout against Floyd Mayweather and I had a lot to prove to the doubters who came out for the first time," Hatton said. "I don't blame the critics for looking at me and doubting me a little bit after what happened."

Now that he's proven many people who were ready to write him off to have been wrong, the 30-year-old Manchester warrior has his sights set on an even bigger 2009 - perhaps THE biggest twelve months of his entire career. Hatton still wants "Pac-Man" first (hopefully in May), but also craves a second go at "Money," who is widely expected to come out of his latest retirement next year.

"I'd prefer to fight Manny Pacquiao, and that's not dodging Floyd, it's just that Pacquiao is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world," Hatton said. "If I can beat Manny and become the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world then Floyd would be next.

"2009 could be my last year, you don't hang up the gloves when you are performing like I am, but if I beat Pacquiao and became the best pound-for-pound fighter, then get a rematch with Floyd and set the record straight, then I'd have to look at myself and where I am and what I'd like to do next."

Without a doubt, if Hatton were to land the two mega-fights and win them both, there would be little left for him to accomplish. It's a big if, but one has to admire Hatton's will and desire to take on the best time and again. A win over either Pacquiao or Mayweather would go a long way towards earning Hatton a special place in boxing history.

Win or lose, Hatton figures to give us an exciting 2009!

Article posted on 26.12.2008

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