Ricky Hatton "The Peoples Champion" SIGNED promotional photo, measuring 6" x 4 1/4".
Richard John "Ricky" Hatton, MBE (born 6 October 1978), English former professional boxer who is also a boxing promoter.
He is a former WBA (Super), IBF, IBO and The Ring Light Welterweight Champion, and WBA Welterweight Champion.
After losing his last fight to Manny Pacquiao, Hatton put his career on a long hiatus, with rumours of a comeback circulating the media. However, on 7 July 2011, Hatton announced his retirement from boxing.
On 14 September 2012, more than three years after his last fight, Hatton confirmed his comeback to professional boxing; after losing his first match on 24 November 2012, he announced his final retirement.
Born in Stockport, Hatton was raised on the Hattersley council estate in Hyde, Greater Manchester and trained at the Sale West ABC (Racecourse Estate). He was educated at Hattersley High School. His grandfather and his father both played for Rochdale and Hatton had a trial for the youth team. He found a local boxing club in Hyde to train at. His entrance music is the Manchester City club song "Blue Moon", as performed by the band "Supra."
Aged 14, Hatton was taken by his uncles Ged and Paul to Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium to watch the second fight between Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank. He joined the family carpet business on leaving school, but after he cut four of his fingers with a Stanley knife, his father made him a salesman to prevent him from losing his fingers.
Hatton had a short amateur career, in which he won seven British titles and represented his country at the 1996 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships. His elimination in the semi-finals caused controversy. Four of the five judges awarded the contest to Hatton, but under the scoring rules Hatton was defeated as the fifth judge gave the match to Hatton's opponent by 16 points. The judge was later found to have accepted a bribe, and disillusioned with the amateur Governing Bodies, Hatton turned professional, aged 18.
Hatton was based at Billy "The Preacher" Graham's gym in Moss Side, where fellow boxers included Carl Thompson and Michael Gomez. Hatton's debut fight was on 10 September 1997 against Colin McAuley in Widnes at Kingsway Leisure Centre. Hatton won by a TKO in first round, while in his second fight he boxed at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Soon he was fighting on the undercard of contests involving major British boxers, such as the two World Boxing Organization (WBO) cruiserweight title fights between Thompson and Chris Eubank in 1998. In 1999 the British Boxing Writers' Club named Hatton their Young Boxer of the Year. His first International title came in May 1999, when he defeated Dillon Carew for the WBO inter-continental light-welterweight title.
Hatton's next four fights after gaining the WBO inter-continental belt were all won within four rounds. He then gained the World Boxing Association (WBA) Inter-continental title following a unification bout against Giuseppe Lauri.
The following month he fought Jon Thaxton for the British title. Despite sustaining a cut over his left eye in the first round, Hatton continued for the full 12 rounds and won on points, the first time in his career that he had been taken beyond six rounds. As the cut was his fourth above the same eye, Hatton had plastic surgery on his eyebrow that November, with a view to a World title shot in the spring. Hatton claimed the vacant World Boxing Union (WBU) light-welterweight title in March 2001, having sent opponent Tony Pep to the canvas three times in the process.
Light Welterweight - Hatton vs Tszyu
On 5 June 2005, Hatton defeated The Ring & IBF Light Welterweight Champion Kostya Tszyu, then widely regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound boxers in the World by a technical knockout after the Australian failed to answer the bell for the 12th round. Hatton was a heavy underdog for this fight and the victory announced his entry to the upper echelons of the World boxing scene. Prior to the fight, the majority of boxing critics had given Hatton little or no chance and this victory was regarded as one of the best victories by an English boxer in the last 20 years.
Light Welterweight Unification
On 26 November 2005, Hatton won the WBA Light Welterweight title when he defeated Carlos Maussa in the ninth round of a unification bout. In December, Hatton was named the 2005 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year.
Hatton relinquished his IBF belt on 29 March 2006 after refusing to fulfil a mandatory defence against number one contender Naoufel Ben Rabah because he intended to move up to the welterweight class. Hatton signed a three fight contract with Dennis Hobson's fight academy after splitting from long time promoter Frank Warren. The three fights would take place in the United States.
Welterweight - Hatton vs Collazo
Hatton moved up a division to meet American Luis Collazo for the WBA Welterweight Championship crown which took place on 13 May 2006. Hatton won the WBA crown from Collazo but struggled. Hatton started well, knocking Collazo down in the very first few seconds of the first round, but it turned out to be one of the toughest fights of his career, with some boxing analysts claiming Collazo won the fight, although many thought Hatton had done enough early on to secure victory, with the knockdown a pivotal point in the fight.
Return to Light Welterweight - Hatton vs Urango
Hatton's first fight back at light welterweight was against then IBF Light Welterweight Champion Juan Urango for his title and the vacant IBO Light Welterweight title on 20 January 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hatton's promoter, Dennis Hobson, stated that the impetus for moving back down was to set up a fight with José Luis Castillo, a fighter who nearly beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. at lightweight in 2002. Hatton ended up winning a 12 round unanimous decision against Urango to re-capture the IBF Light Welterweight title. He won all but one round on all three judges' scorecards. Castillo, who was on the undercard, also won (via split decision), setting up their long-awaited fight.
Hatton vs Castillo
Hatton was forced to relinquish his IBF title again on 10 February to be able to fight Castillo. The fight was held on 23 June 2007, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Paradise, Nevada.
In round four, Hatton landed a "perfect" left hook to the liver, which put Castillo to the canvas. Hatton later claimed that 4 of Castillo's ribs were broken with this one punch. Unable to stand up, Castillo was counted out for the first time in his career.
Return to Welterweight - Hatton vs Mayweather Jr
Hatton agreed to terms on 27 July for an 8 December 2007 welterweight fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr which was considered to be the biggest welterweight fight since the 1999 clash between Oscar De La Hoya and Puerto Rican legend Tito Trinidad. The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas was announced as the venue on 17 August 2007. The fight was agreed to less than three months after Mayweather had said he planned to retire following a victory over Oscar De La Hoya.
Hatton was able to bring the fight to Mayweather in the early rounds. In the 1st round, Hatton caught Mayweather with a left jab which knocked Mayweather off balance. His constant pressure appeared to make Mayweather uncomfortable at first. In the third round, Mayweather landed a right that cut Hatton above the right eye. In round six, referee Joe Cortez took a point away from Hatton after he appeared to hit Mayweather on the back of the head while Mayweather was rested between the ropes. However, the punch was revealed to have hit the rope rather than Mayweather's head, but Hatton was warned for punching behind the head on numerous occasions before the deduction.
Hatton became angry at the referee's decision to deduct a point and turned his back on him. Hatton later claimed he was angered by the referee, which caused him to lose his calm and contributed to his downfall. Hatton was able to hold his own until round eight, when Mayweather began to adapt to Hatton and started counterattacking. Mayweather knocked Hatton down to the mat in round ten. Hatton got up, but Mayweather quickly resumed his attack, resulting in Joe Cortez putting a stop to the fight and Hatton's corner threw in the towel.
Mayweather commented post-match that "Ricky Hatton is one tough fighter. He is still a champion in my eyes and I'd love to see him fight again. Ricky Hatton is probably one of toughest competitors I've faced. I hit him with some big ones but he kept coming and I can see why they call him the 'Hitman'."
The fight received large amounts of publicity, with both fighters promoting the fight heavily.
Second Return to Light Welterweight - Hatton vs Lazcano
On 24 May 2008, Hatton beat Mexican Juan Lazcano by unanimous decision with scores of 120–110, 120–108 and 118–110, in front of his home crowd of 55,000 (a post-World War II record for a boxing match in Britain), at City of Manchester Stadium to retain The Ring Magazine and IBO Light Welterweight titles.
Hatton did well when he boxed and controlled the range, utilising his jab and dominating a lot of the early exchanges. In round eight, Hatton absorbed a left hook to the chin that wobbled him. In round ten, Hatton was hurt again by a left hook. Despite that, Hatton outworked Lazcano to win at least ten of the rounds.
Hatton vs Malignaggi
Hatton fought Paulie Malignaggi of the United States at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on 22 November for Hatton's The Ring Light Welterweight title. He was trained for the fight by Floyd Mayweather Sr. Hatton dominated for all of the fight and defeated Malignaggi by 11th-round TKO when Malignaggi's trainer, Buddy McGirt, threw in the towel 48 seconds into the round.
Hatton vs Pacquiao
Hatton fought Manny Pacquiao on 2 May 2009 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The fight was at light welterweight, which was the sixth weight category Pacquiao has fought at and is the weight at which Hatton was previously undefeated. Pacquiao defeated Hatton in the second round by a KO victory after knocking Hatton down twice in the first round. Following the loss to Pacquiao, Hatton put his career on hiatus. After more than a year out of action, in a June 2010 interview with Gulfnews.com, the British boxer seemed uninterested in coming to the ring again. He stated: "Boxing started off as a habit and it ended up giving me some money and making me a little bit of a better person. But I don't think I will have a fight again. But you can never say never as I have not announced officially that I won't be boxing. At the moment I don't have any fire in the belly for a fight or to get myself to a gym." However, Hatton also added: "But it has been only 13 months and I am only 31, so never count me out."
Hatton has also voiced suspicion that Manny Pacquiao may be using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Hatton said he should have made the same blood testing demand as Floyd Mayweather Jr whose fight against the Filipino fighter fell through in early 2010.
On 14 September 2012, Hatton confirmed he would return to professional boxing with a fight against an unnamed opponent scheduled to take place in November that year.
Tickets for the comeback sold out in two days, before the opponent or undercard were announced. His opponent was later revealed to be Vyacheslav Senchenko. Having reached a maximum weight of nearly 15 stone (95 kg), in the months leading up to his comeback, Hatton's bodyweight decreased by nearly half his fighting weight.
Hatton started the fight the stronger of the pair, but did not time his shots well. Senchenko used his superior reach to land jabs, and gained the upper hand as the fight progressed.
In the ninth round, a left hook to the body sent Hatton to the floor. Knocked down by the type of punch previously viewed as his own signature, Hatton was counted out by the referee. It was the third time Hatton had been stopped, taking his overall record to 45 wins and 3 defeats. He announced his final retirement from the ring immediately afterwards, saying "I needed one more fight to see if I had still got it – and I haven't. I found out tonight it isn't there no more."
Outside The Ring
Hatton is a passionate supporter of Manchester City, with strong links to the club via his father and grandfather, who are both former players. Hatton also once had a trial at City for the youth team. His entrance music was the club's song "Blue Moon" as performed by the band "Supra". Good friend Wayne Rooney, who plays for arch rivals Manchester United, was with Hatton in his dressing room before a bout and carried one of his belts to the ring. Hatton's best friend is Lee Rawsthorne, who regularly carried Hatton's belt into the ring. Hatton is also good friends with another footballer, Joey Barton, a former Manchester City player.
Hatton also follows the non-league football club Hyde United and often attends home matches. In an appearance on Al Murray's Happy Hour Hatton admitted that if he could hit one celebrity, it would be Cristiano Ronaldo who at the time played for Manchester United.
Regarding his nickname, Hatton said, "I've always been a fan of Tommy Hearns, and everybody associates that that's where I got it from, but everybody's a Tommy Hearns fan. I got the nickname the first day I walked in the gym. I was 10 years old and put a pair of gloves on and started walloping the bag, and my amateur coach said, "Look at him, look how evil he is. He's a little Hitman."
Ricky Hatton Does "Ricky Fatton"
Hatton is sometimes referred to by boxing fans as "Ricky Fatton" because he was known to allow himself to weigh as much as 175 to 180 pounds (35 to 40 pounds over his fight weight) when not in training for a fight. Ever since Hatton turned professional, he always opted to eat a full English breakfast before fights, his favourite place in Hyde is The Butty Box in Mottram Road, where he was interviewed by Gaby Logan for Inside Sport; and is known to drink Guinness on Thursday night when he plays darts for the New Inn. Experts used his ill-balanced diet, akin to Jake LaMotta's ballooning up between fights, to explain his poor performances in later fights and his nature to tire towards the end of fights.
Hatton appeared on ITV1's daytime show Loose Women in August 2007, stating that the reason he put on weight between fights was because "I have a lot on my plate at the moment."
Hatton appeared on the Friday Night with Jonathan Ross show in March 2007. When the host, Ross, placed some pads on his hands and gave Hatton gloves to hit them with, he knocked a pad clean off Ross's hand with a powerful left hook.
Interviewed on ITV1's Parkinson on 13 October 2007, at the beginning of the interview, Hatton handed Michael Parkinson a custom made pair of boxing shorts with 'Mike' and 'Parky' written on them. The shorts had the Barnsley emblem on them and were coloured red and blue, Barnsley Football Club's colours, because Parkinson supports Barnsley. While talking about Floyd Mayweather's arrogance, Hatton said "if there was such a thing as re-incarnation, Floyd would come back as himself."
Hatton received the MBE for services to sport in the 2007 New Year Honours.
In 2008, he started hosting his own live chat show called Ricky Speaks, on Nuts TV. His father, Ray Hatton, said, "We had a conversation with a third party asking whether, if we were approached by the Mayweather team, would a possible rematch be on the cards." Ray Hatton added, "Really, at the moment we're looking at Manny Pacquiao. It's very nice for Ricky to still be in such a big league."
Although negotiations stalled at some points, Hatton fought the number one pound-for-pound fighter, Manny Pacquiao, on 2 May 2009. Hatton hosted the 9 November edition of WWE Raw, defeating Chavo Guerrero in a match.
On 13 September 2010, Hatton was admitted to a rehabilitation facility, The Priory, in Roehampton, London, UK, for substance abuse to tackle a drink and depression problem.
He was caught on camera apparently snorting class A drugs, lines of cocaine, in a Manchester hotel room. Doctors said they were more worried about his depression and alcohol abuse than drug use. Hatton sought medical help two weeks prior after news emerged about a night out where he drank 11 pints of Guinness, vodka and sambuca during the night out with Emma Bowe, 29, the Irish national senior women's boxing champion.
Hatton's mother, Carol, still works on the carpet stall on Glossop Market in the Peak District. His father Ray was his manager, and manages Hatton's brother and fellow boxer Matthew Hatton. Hatton and his girlfriend, Jennifer Dooley, live in his house, the "Heartbreak Hotel," named after his favourite artist, Elvis, in Hyde.
Hatton has a son, Campbell, conceived after a short reconciliation with ex-girlfriend, Claire. Hatton set up a trust fund to make sure his son was always provided for and sees him every day.
On 12 September 2010, the Sunday tabloid News of the World published a front-page story alleging Hatton has been a regular cocaine user with accompanying pictures showing the boxer apparently using the drug. Hatton was said to be "devastated" following the story.
Hatton is a supporter of The Village News, Haughton Green's local children's newspaper made by children in aid of charity.
Hatton supported them at a charity auction by appearing and signing boxing gloves, with the evening raising £1,600. Hatton was also recently a special guest speaker for The Toby Henderson Trust at a sportsmans' dinner at the Gosforth Marriott Hotel. Thanks to Hatton's help via donations and a highly successful auction, a lot of money was raised for the Centre for First Inistuitives in Crosby Liverpool.
Hatton has attracted many fans who were very vocal in their support during fights. The main chant was a modified version of the popular Christmas song "Winter Wonderland", with the lyrics changed to promote Hatton.
Hatton fans also liked to taunt opponents by singing "Who Are Ya?", a popular English football chant. Along with Floyd Mayweather, Hatton is referenced by New York rapper GZA on the track "Paper Plate" of his 2008 album, Pro Tools.
Hatton has his own boxing promotions that has boxers Anthony Upton, Sonny Upton, Pauly Upton, Lucas Browne, Cameron Hammond, Damien Hooper, Zhanat Zhakiyanov, Adam Etches, Matty Askin, Scott Jenkins Sergey Rabchenko and Ryan Burnett.
"The Hitman - My story", an autobiography co-authored with Niall Hickman, was published in 2007 (ed. Ebury Press).
Another autobiography, "War and Peace", followed this. His third book, "Ricky Hatton's Vegas Tales", will be published in May 2015.