Hatton/Pacquiao Countdown: Ricky Hatton - Evolution of a Legend

ricky hattonBy Vivek Wallace: From the very beginning of its relevance the British sector has given the world of boxing some of its most amazing talent. As recent as Joe Calzaghe and Lennox Lewis, to yesterdays 'Prince' Naseem Hamed and beyond; some of the best talent in the sport continues to arrive from this very key destination. As intriguing figures like Amir Khan, Carl Froch, and David Haye attempt to brighten the horizon, there's another notable source that currently cast a major shadow, in a parallel to the patented 'Blue Moon' that he has become affectionately known for. That source is none other than Manchester's favorite son, Ricky Hatton.

Someone once said "the average man may encounter more than 15 to 20 odd jobs throughout his teen through adulthood years before he finds that true niche and ultimate success". For Ricky Hatton, the evolution wasn't quite as elaborate, but after nearly cutting his fingers off as an employee in the family carpet business and failing to find the same level of success in football that his Father and Grandfather found, the oddest direction of sorts would be the very one to attract his attention.. At the age of 14, the young Hatton was taken by his uncles Ged and Paul to witness the live showdown between Nigel Benn and Chris Eubanks. Open doors to the local boxing club in Hyde would forever become his home, putting him on the very path that placed him where he now stands today. An amateur record of 73-7, coupled with a few other amateur accolades would set the tone for Hatton who entered the sport with more than finding an odd job along the way to ultimate success in mind. The first time that he stepped into the ring professionally in his career would take place on September 11, 1997, and from that day on, many local observers learned what the world would soon find out; which was the fact that this 'little guy' packed big game! As the years went on, Hatton would establish a following that continues to grow to this day, and it all started as a result of the relentless approach he carried in the ring, prompting many to use the nickname he earned on his first day in the gym after a fierce hitting bag session - the 'Hitman'.

Over the years, Hatton would encounter a gradual increase in level of competition. That escalation saw him encounter everyone from Ben Tackie, to the hard-hitting Juan Urango, the slick Luis Collazo, and more. With a number of other great names on his resume, his career defining moment still stands at the night which he did what was viewed as highly skeptical, by soundly defeating Kotsya Tszyu. Questions raised were now questions answered, but as many learn in the sport, those same questions answered give much room for more questions to be raised. If he was good enough to defeat Tsyzu, could he be good enough to defeat others at the top of the sport? The effort to find out has come on many levels, but in the only true mega fight of his career, (Mayweather), Hatton failed to hit the desired mark. After admitting to being "torn", and spending many days "crying like a woman", Manchester's son now finds himself against a foe whose capabilities perhaps live on an even higher scale. How Hatton measures up remains to be seen, but after failing at the family carpet business and not measuring up on the football field, it appears he has now found his nitch and could very well be the man for this 'job'. On Saturday night, May 2nd, in Las Vegas, he'll either punch the clock or be relieved of his duties. Tune into HBOPPV at 9pm est to see if the 'Hitman' finally gets paid!

(Check out the remaining countdown to Pacquiao/Hatton schedule through fight night):

Thr. - Pacquiao/Hatton - Great Moments of Adversity (a look at some of their key career defining fights)
Fri. - 'Call Em Out Fridays': Pacquiao/Hatton - Small Statures, Big Stakes
Sat. - Keys to victory, Four to explore, and Official fight prediction (strategy, four critical elements to watch for, and official prediction)

(Got questions or feedback? Contact ESB's Vivek Wallace at and 954-292-7346, follow more of his work at 8CountNews and The Examiner, or show some love at Facebook and Myspace).

Article posted on 29.04.2009

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