No going back

Woodhall fears for Hatton's legacy

Last Updated: 14/09/12 1:23pm

Former world champions Joe Calzaghe and Richie Woodhall were unanimous in their views that Ricky Hatton should resist any temptations to return to the ring.

"Ricky is a friend and I just fear now it could really affect his legacy."

Richie Woodhall

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Hatton announced his retirement from boxing in July 2011, two years after his last fight against Manny Pacquiao, which he lost by knock-out. However, speculation in recent months has suggested the 33-year-old is ready to make a comeback and on Wednesday it was confirmed that he had applied for a new boxing licence.

The British Boxing Board of Control met with the former two-weight world champion on Wednesday and agreed to allow him to return to the ring, providing he proves he is fit to box.

But Calzaghe and Woodhall were in agreement that Hatton should not come out of retirement.

Calzaghe told Ringside: "I am not totally surprised because we have heard it on the grapevine that he may be boxing again. I think he shouldn't do it but he is his own man and that is what is happening."

Woodhall added: "I am very surprise to be honest. What Ricky Hatton has achieved in boxing most boxers probably dream about, winning the titles and earning the money he has. I just don't know why he wants to come back to be honest.

"He has had a fantastic career and it has got to come to an end at some time. When you retire from boxing you do miss that winning feeling and being world champion, and preparing for world title contests is just unbelievable and then to win it is tremendous but it has to end somewhere.

"Ricky is a friend and I just fear now it could really affect his legacy."

Woodhall went on to question whether his post-fighting path of promoting had stalled and whether that was a potential reason behind his anticipated return to the ring.

He said: "We have to ask the question as well with his promotional company, Sky are not promoting his contests anymore. Has that pushed him back into boxing? I think if his promotions were going better he may not have gone back in, it has to be said."

Go for it

However fellow Ringside guest Nathan Cleverly believes Hatton can overcome any decline caused by his three-year absence from the fight game and empathised with his clear desire to return.

"I was surprised but I can understand as well why he would want to come back after going out on a devastating defeat in his last fight. So he wants to go out on a high and I can see his intentions," he said.

"It can be done I think, having a break from the sport mentally and physically and freshening up. I can understand why a fighter would do that, taking a break from a sport that he has dedicated all his life to. If he has got that buzz back I think why not? So I think go for it.

"Ricky has been there and done it and if he thinks he has that buzz back I think he should go for it."