Ever since his defeat to Manny Pacquaio in 2009, Ricky Hatton had wondered what he had left to give to the world of boxing; on Saturday night he found out.
This is not a criticism at all, as ‘The Hitman’ may have found himself wanting against a World Level opponent but he will now know the legacy he will have left for fans and pundits alike, a four time world champion in two weight classes.
Sadly the break coupled with personal and some physical problems just simply caught up with Hatton, on this night he saw his own mortality. In his career he had knocked down some pretty hefty walls going by the names Tsyzu, Castillo, Urango and who could forget the war with Thaxton?
Let’s not make any mistake that on his two previous defeats Ricky lost to two of the most gifted boxers of their generation in Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather Junior.
Considering they will not meet in the ring any time soon, Hatton should be given all the credit for wanting to test himself at the very highest level, god knows he deserved it. Saturday night was not about winning or losing, it was about answers as Ricky said himself, with his right eye almost swelled shut in the post fight press conference, hopefully the demons were put to rest regardless of the result.
Like so many I was haunted by his post fight interview at ringside, as he devastation and embarassment were almost infectious. It was truly heartbreaking to see a man who had entertained fight fans for the best part of a decade in such a state.
You could see as the fight drew on, that Hatton wanted to do things but the snap wasn’t in his punches and his timing was wayward, which now makes Senchenko’s bravado even more meaningful during the fight.
We could all say that a prime Ricky takes the Ukrainian out in the middle rounds with a body shot, and the fact he was downed by his own signature punch probably made the defeat all the more bitter.
Comebacks don’t all go to plan, so many fighters have tried it and got away with it.
At least Hatton will not be put into the same circle as Ali who despite his skills carried on well past his prime, and watching his ‘fight’ with Larry Holmes is still haunting to this day.
Many have said in the aftermath that Hatton should have chosen an easier opponent, but what would this have proved? Ricky is too proud a man to want to operate below his own desired level, it was really all or nothing on Saturday.
That’s the way the Hitman was, and that says everything you need to know about the man.