by James Slater – Over the weekend, a news story ran in UK paper, The News of The World, in which it was revealed how Ricky Hatton has made up his mind about fighting again. According to the article, 30-year-old Hatton has decided that he will box on for at least one more fight. There were no direct quotes from “The Hitman” himself, the paper instead gave us the word from a “leading ring source,” who said the following: “Ricky doesn’t take anything away from Floyd [Mayweather Junior] and Manny [Pacquiao] but he feels there were things that didn’t help his performances. He believes he can still offer something and wants to have at least one more fight..”
Further details in the article suggested Hatton’s comeback fight will likely take place in his hometown of Manchester later this year, and the bout may be fought up at welterweight – the division that saw Hatton lose to Mayweather, of course. It is not yet clear if this planned bout will be a “Farewell” bout, or the first of one or two more bouts. Also not yet known is who the opponent will be, however, the name of Steve Forbes has been mentioned as a possibility (perhaps we will learn more from “2 Pounds” himself when he speaks as a guest on the radio show mentioned in the article below this one on ESB).
It won’t really be a shocker if Hatton has, like so many other fighters before him, chosen not to retire after a devastating KO loss. Some members of Hatton’s family may be upset, having wanted him to hang up the gloves for good after what pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao did to him in that 2nd-round back on May 2nd in Las Vegas, but it seems (from the paper’s article anyway) that Ricky has made up his mind. Will a fight with former IBF super-featherweight champ Forbes sell?
Perhaps this is silly question, after all, we are talking about the single most popular British fighter in history when it comes to being capable of shifting tickets by the thousands. But what will Hatton’s critics says if the former light-welterweight king opts to take on the still classy yet now faded and far from dangerous Forbes? Would a Hatton win, even a commanding one, mean anything?
We all know Forbes is in no way a puncher, therefore even if Hatton were to win every round before winning the prospective fight what would that tell us about whether or not Ricky has lost the ability to take a good shot? Some have claimed he has lost the ability to withstand any kind of hard shot almost completely, and a win over a former 130-pounder will not change these peoples’ opinions one bit.
There is, of course, also talk of an all-British blockbuster of a fight between Hatton and Amir Khan taking place some time next year. This fight would definitely sell, without any question whatsoever. Maybe Hatton’s plan, then, is to box a “safe” tune-up, see how he feels, and then either pursue the Khan fight or not, depending on how he fairs in his first fight back after the “Pac-Man” disaster.
It’s still speculative at best to talk about the ring future of Hatton – after all, we have only the above quoted “leading ring source” telling us that Ricky has decide to box on. It’s possible he will not do anything of the kind. Without doubt, Hatton would be welcomed back by his army of fans if he did return, in just the same way he would be supported by them should he announce his decision to quit. But until we hear it directly from Hatton’s mouth, we will not know for sure which of these decisions Ricky’s fan-base will be nodding collectively at.