The new Sky Sports documentary on British great Ricky Hatton is currently receiving nothing but rave reviews, the look at Hatton’s rise, fall and rise again a powerfully moving piece of work. And featured heavily in the documentary, are Hatton’s two big career losses, one to Floyd Mayweather, the other to Manny Pacquiao. Hatton has always maintained how, had referee Joe Cortez not been so fussy breaking the action that night in Vegas, he would have had a better shot against Mayweather.
Hatton doesn’t go so far as to say he would have beaten “Money,” but he does feel, as do his many supporters, that he would have gone the distance had Cortez not spent so much time breaking Hatton’s rhythm. It remains a talking point. As for Hatton’s brutal and utterly devastating knockout loss to Manny Pacquiao, Hatton would seem to have zero excuses for the loss, as comprehensive and as quick as it was, with Hatton being wiped out and left flat on his back in the second round, also in Vegas.
However, Hatton does explain how his training camp for the Pacquiao fight was far from ideal, and that his mental state at the time was in no way ready to serve him well enough to be able to win the fight. And, in speaking with Sun Sport, Hatton says the training camp he had with Floyd Mayweather Sr was all wrong.
“I just think Floyd Mayweather Sr ran me into the ground,” Hatton says of his preparations for the May 2009 fight. “When I was like eight weeks out from the fight I felt fantastic but he drilled me and drilled me, round after round after round. Then two or three weeks before the fight my sparring partner, one of them knocked me on my a***. I thought, ‘this ain’t right.’ Bearing in mind the Floyd Mayweather fight I was devastated, so mentally I was bad. I then fell out with Billy Graham so mentally I was down and I fought [Paulie] Malignaggi (six months before the Pacquiao fight) and I was back up, then I fought Pacquiao and I was back down again. So even though Floyd Mayweather Sr trained me into the ground a little bit – and he couldn’t do southpaw pads – my mind wasn’t in a good place anyway.”
Hatton’s father apparently wanted his son pulled out of the fight, yet “Hitman” says he would “never have pulled out,” as he is a “proud man.” And so, Hatton tried his best on the night but was no match for the deadly blend of speed and power of Pac-Man. The smashing KO scored by Pacquiao really does rank as one of the most chilling in modern day history. But has Hatton any right to complain? Would even a perfect training camp have helped him that night?
It’s interesting, and quite alarming, to hear how Mayweather Sr, such an experienced guy, “couldn’t do southpaw pads.” Surely, one would think, there must be more to that part of the story, and it would be great if Hatton could elaborate, or even better, if Mayweather Sr could elaborate. In any case, Pacquiao, like any fighter, can only beat the man in front of him on the night, whether he’s had a great camp or a poor camp.
Hatton is no bad loser, he genuinely believes his chances were, for the reasons he gives, compromised, and on the night he met the greatest opponent of his career, as well. Again, even if Hatton had been perfect on the night of May 2, 2009, would he have been able to defeat the peak Manny Pacquiao?