Blogs & Opinion

Ricky's happy return

It's a gamble but we should welcome back the Hitman, says Jim

Jim Watt Posted 13th January 2010 view comments

The only way we'll find out if it is the right decision is by seeing what happens in the ring, but I am not at all surprised that Ricky Hatton is making a comeback.

The feeling has always been that he was going to return sooner or later and I can understand his reasoning for doing just that. He has had a tremendous career, he won two world titles at different weights and dominated the 10-stone division - and could have hung up his gloves with his head held high.

Hatton: his return is risky, but great for British boxing, says JIm Wat

Hatton: his return is risky, but great for British boxing, says JIm Wat

But what must rankle him was the manner of his last defeat to Manny Pacquiao. Ricky is a proud man and he doesn't want to go out on the back of a shattering two-round defeat. He knows he did not perform and without doubt the thought will be in his mind that he doesn't want that to be his swansong.

It is perfectly understandable and even if we have to accept that he is not going to be as good as he once was, there are plenty of fighters out there who fit that bill and still make decent money and have good careers.

If he wants to fight again, we should all look forward to it and enjoy it, because Ricky Hatton fights are always special. And one way or the other, we know there won't be too many more.

Jim Watt
Quotes of the week

Ricky Hatton is stll a huge name in the United States, too. America is not the same as Britain, where we are too quick to write people off after a couple of big defeats. Over there, if you make a comeback you are back in the mix again, simple as that. They won't hold those two defeats against him as much as we might over here.

And they love his style which means he will still generate big pay-per-view numbers. I know Golden Boy are very keen on him and what he brings to his table, so a big fight over in America, or even on American TV, is pretty much on the cards.

Ricky will want to come back against a decent fighter - and he has to. He is not in a position to pick and choose a Juan Lazcano-type opponent any more and if we are to believe what we hear, it could well be Juan Manuel Marquez; even before his defeat to Floyd Mayweather, that was the talk.


That in itself would be dangerous because although Ricky would be naturally bigger, Marquez was pretty much taken to school and embarrassed by Mayweather and will have been stung by that and want to put his own record straight. It would be a great match but very tough for Hatton.

And that is where the gamble comes into play because if disaster struck for the third time, it would tarnish Ricky Hatton's legacy. Massively.

If he got knocked out again, people would say that (because Kostya Tszyu had been out for so long) on the three occasions he mixed it with top-drawer fighters, he got knocked out. It is a huge gamble, but Ricky has never done things the easy way, has he?

It is all ifs and buts, but everything is on the line for Ricky Hatton. Whether it's one or two more fights, this comeback could well define how he is remembered.

The opponent aside, we will also have to see who Ricky picks as his trainer; one thing I will say is thank God it won't be Floyd Mayweather Snr! Even before the problems in their camp came out, I didn't like that appointment one bit. As soon as I saw their first workout I thought 'this fella's going to drive Ricky crazy'; he's a man with a huge ego who was trying to change Ricky's style, but for his own benefit, not Ricky Hatton's.

Freddie Roach would be an obvious choice, but everyone wants Freddie Roach now and if Pacquiao or Amir Khan is fighting in the summer, that will keep him out of the equation. Also, once he is back at light-welterweight, Ricky becomes an obvious rival to Khan.

It probably doesn't matter too much who trains him, anyway. Ricky is 31, he has been doing things his way for 13 years and 47 fights and now is not the time to be changing what got him to the very top. All he needs to do is get some good quality sparring in to sharpen up and then get himself in condition.


I do have one more worry about that, though. I don't doubt for a minute he will make the 10-stone limit, no problem at all. We all talk about Ricky's lifestyle out of the ring and his ballooning weight, but he takes full advantage of the 24-hour weigh-in and always, always, gets his weight right - even if it is, like so many fighters nowadays, for little more than an hour.

What worries me is what he has done to his body down the years may have eroded some of that natural hardness. We know he will go to the gym and get fit for a 12-round fight because he trains like a Trojan, but has he still got that toughness required in a tough fight against a decent opponent? Can he still stand there and take shots and then come back firing back? I don't know.

But let's finish with a positive here; this is great news for boxing and British boxing. Ricky Hatton is such a big name, such an attraction, that even with those little nagging doubts, you have to applaud his decision.

I have nothing but appreciation for what Ricky has done for the sport and what he has achieved in the sport. There will always be a few detractors, who will always say he got blasted out when he fought at the highest level, but Ricky is never going to please them, whatever he does.

If people aren't impressed by now, they are never going to be. He is a two-weight world champion, the undisputed champion in his division and he attracts a crowd like no-one else we have seen. He has given us all some incredible nights that none of us will ever forget

So, if he wants to fight again, we should all look forward to it and enjoy it, because Ricky Hatton fights are always special. And one way or the other, we know there won't be too many more.

Do you share Jim's concerns or are you as happy as he is to see the Hitman return? Fill in the feedback form below...

Comments (25)

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Asif Arif, manchester says...

Great draw for British boxing but if Ricky takes on the wrong opponent i.e. Khan as thats what the public really want he risks serious injury.

Posted 13:07 19th January 2010

Steven Mclean says...

rickys not past it, he had a crap referee on the PBF fight, never let him fihgt his style, howevfer the same ref allowed b-hop to do this against calzaghe. the pac man fight he just never turned up, it wasnt the best ricky hatton, just an off night. now im not saying it would ahve changed the result but he would have gave a better account of himself and maybe all you doubters would shut it. theres only one ricky hatton!

Posted 13:30 18th January 2010

Adam Whiteley says...

looks like mr Harun Yahya needs to have a re-think, obviously been watching different fights to me and the rest of the boxing world, he goes on to mention "Now the facts are Hatton over his last two fights has been stretched" yeh, once again mate, have a re-think, and look back over hattons last 2 fights, i seem to remember 1 of them was paulie malinaggi you ill-infomed wannabe. and just have a re-cap over how that fight went, and you will find that for all of malignaggis so called magic, not only did hatton beat him, hatton comprehensivley brought this guy down to nothing, he couldnt get a shot in at hatton, so mr Harun Yahya, are you sure hatton was stretched in his last fight? or do i detect the fact hatton has made something of himself, and you my friend, have not

Posted 11:22 18th January 2010

Kamran Khan says...

its actually qite a smart move! if he looses to another good fighter there in no harm done!! as he's been knocked out twice so a third defeat wont do him more harm. if he wins.. its makes him look good again.

Posted 11:44 17th January 2010

Harun Yahya says...

Is sentiment getting the better of you Mr Watt? A highly opinionated article, with plenty of heart but no chin as the saying goes. Youv discounted ALL the facts & gone purely on spirit. Hatton is now a spent force & that was blindingly obvious to see when he fought pacman. NO boxer in the world of the calibre of Hatton would go down so quick NO boxer would use his training as an excuse NO boxer who prides himself on heart and sheer guts would use "Burnout" as an alibi. Hatton used to fight like a real gladiator but in truth was smashed to bits by pacman. Just take another look at him being floored by him in the 2nd round, he looked a man who was washed up, at one point it looked quite critical when the doc was next to him, so dont try telling me that was pre-cautionery because hatton nearly swallowed his tongue & had a fit. For me that was a huge turning point, it was like Man United loosing 10-nil to Barcelona, it showed the gulf in class & quality. Now the facts are Hatton over his last two fights has been stretched, he looks as though somethings missing & above all age is catching up. For me Hatton training & getting back to shape will take a huge toll on his body, have you seen the size of him? Hes bloated & overweight. His mind is playing tricks with him & he "thinks" he can do it, but in essence he cant. Someone serisouly needs to sit down with this guy, put an arm around him & tell him to pack it in. I dont agree with Jim Watt about Hatton going out in that fashion will hurt his ego etc, thats a load of crap. Lets not forget Hatton is human at the end of the day, his life & health are the most important thing.....if he continues hes serisouly putting his life at risk

Posted 09:31 17th January 2010

Musaka Buzangey says...

its brilliant ricky is coming back. he can still unify the titles in the light welterweight division and that is what i hope hes goes on to do.... there's only 1 ricky hatton!!

Posted 15:31 16th January 2010

Brian Stewart says...

I Think Ricky should stay retired I feel he has achieved all he can and will not prevail against Urango..let alone Khan, I don¿t like Amir although if he were to fight Hatton it would be a miss match speed and power going for Amir. Marquez is the best option in my opinion although he also carry¿s speed¿.Hang them up Ricky and focus on your business interests. It is no shame losing to Floyd and Pac-man, although losing to lesser opponents on your resume would tarnish your legacy.

Posted 20:19 15th January 2010

Paul Wickes says...

Spot on Jim! I think Ricky wants to do what Nigel Benn wanted to do, go out with a right good tear up!

Posted 16:56 14th January 2010

Steve Jones says...

I think to be fair to Ricky, he took on and lost to the two best pound for pound boxers in the world, the boy had a go, no matter what people think, how can any more be asked of him?? We constantly moan about how Calzaghe 'dodged fights' and other completely false statements like that, but the pure fact is, no other fighter at that weight will beat Manny or Floyd jr, so fair play to Ricky, he deserves a chance to set the record straight and to finish his career off in style.

Posted 16:02 14th January 2010

Steve Jones says...

I think to be fair to Ricky, he took on and beat the two best pound for pound boxers in the world, the boy had a go, no matter what people think, how can any more be asked of him?? We constantly moan about how Calzaghe 'dodged fights' and other completely false statements like that, but the pure fact is, no other fighter at that weight will beat Manny or Floyd jr, so fair play to Ricky, he deserves a chance to set the record straight and to finish his career off in style.

Posted 16:01 14th January 2010

Freddie Bear says...

Good luck to Ricky for whoever he fights. He has been a great ambassedor for British boxing. Win or Lose this next fight Ricky will still be remembered for the great nights he has given his fans over the years, and will be forever a hero in our eyes. When the day finally comes when the hitman hangs up his gloves, i for one will be forever grateful to him for the memorys i have of his career. Best of Luck Hitman

Posted 15:37 14th January 2010

Timothy Bradley says...

Always enjoy reading Jim's blogs, always balanced, never biased and always very informative. Which I cannot say for the BBC's 'experts'

Posted 15:23 14th January 2010

Andrew Evans says...

I hope Ricky doesn't do himself any damage by fighting on too long. One more then out, he doesn't have anything to prove. Two weight World Champ. I was gutted when he lost to Pac in such a destructive fashion, as I wanted him to go out as World Champ and undefeated at LWW. Good Luck Rick

Posted 14:44 14th January 2010

Rob C says...

I have only one worry about Hatton.....I feel he's lost the abiltly to take a good punch & fire back! I hear alot of rumours that he sparred with a cuban before the pac fight & the cuban knocked hatton all over the ring & they sacked him after one session! when your sparring partners are bossing you about the ring then it's a tell tale sign that your shot, thats assuming it's true. I love Ricky & hope with all my heart it's a sucessful comeback, also i wonder if this is the reason Khan is thinking of splitting from Warren, coz theres no way hatton will fight him under Warren promotions!

Posted 14:17 14th January 2010

Adam Whiteley says...

this is fantastic news, ricky aint the only fighter who has lost 2 fights and boxed on, hes doing the right thing for him at the end of the day, and no one els, ill be watching ricky, who ever it may be...

Posted 13:07 14th January 2010

Mooketsi Lekgetho says...

The hitman is a great boxer and he will always be. He can still rule the light welter division. Its good to have people like him in the sport

Posted 12:43 14th January 2010

Dean Howlett says...

Ricky is a good fighter and a nice guy, but if he goes up against Marquez he will be beaten without a shadow of a doubt. Mayweather and Manny are out of his league sadly, and a fight with Urango doesn't personally excite me at all. I think perhaps he should have retired now and not risked his health and tarnishing his legacy any further. The very best of luck to him though, I would love him to prove me wrong!

Posted 12:28 14th January 2010

Craig Boustead says...

I think that Ricky making a comback is maybe the right decision for him. It's better he decides to fight on now, rather than try to make an ill-fated comeback in a few years' time, when his skills would have declined even further. If he still has the desire to mix it with the best 10 stoners around, i for one respect his decision. I hope he finds a great trainer that will do everything he can to improve Ricky and to make realistic adjustments to his game, to get his speed, composure and confidence back. Someone who doesn't care about their ego , and is passonate about bringing Ricky in the best shape possible, Freddie Roach would be the first choice, lets hope its possible. As for an opponent, bring in Amir Khan, what an excellent fight that would be.

Posted 08:50 14th January 2010

Trevor Foale says...

Like most boxing fans, I'm very pleased the Hitman is going to get back in the ring. He is unique as a boxer as most people, including non boxing fans, appreciate the fact he is a genuine down-to-earth guy. The Pacquiao fight was a disappointment so here's hoping he can finally end on a high.

Posted 08:31 14th January 2010

Scott Wyllie says...

The last comment from Roni Kara is crazy. Why would Hatton have fought Junior Witter when he had the chance to become p4p king? If Junior Witter was so good why did he not clear up the division? Because he never had the strength and quality of Ricky Hatton thats why!! Hatton has never dodged a tough fight in his career so to hear Roni bang on about him not fighting Witter is a joke.

Posted 23:40 13th January 2010

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