Ricky Hatton: "Sometimes we need a little bit of ass kicking" - w/ Jenna Jay, On The Ropes - Doghouse Boxing
Ricky Hatton: "Everybody wants to say it’s over, but sometimes we need a little bit of ass kicking to know that it isn’t there anymore"
By Jenna Jay, OnTheRopes Boxing Radio, Doghouse Boxing (March 4, 2013) Doghouse Boxing
It's been just over 3 months since 34 year old Ricky Hatton decided to retire from the sport following a 9th round knockout loss to former world champion Vyacheslav Senchenko. The bout saw the former light welterweight champion of the world have his moments early and also showing signs of rust from the 3 year lay off following his KO loss to Manny Pacquiao. During the 186th edition of "On The Ropes" I had a chance to discuss with Ricky his decision to retire from the sport once again, and why he feels he can finally let it go at this point in his life. Ricky also talked about Hatton promotions, training boxers and the upcoming April 27th title shot his boxer Martin Murray has against Sergio Martinez. In addition, "The Hitman" gave his thoughts on the current boxing scene, discussing Amir Khan, Carl Froch, Manny Pacquiao and much much more! Here is what Ricky Hatton had to say.

Jenna Jay: You have had a few months to reflect on your performance; what are your thoughts on your come back?

Ricky Hatton: It was something that I very much needed to do. I am glad I’ve done it, I feel like I can retire with a happy frame of mind, to be honest with you. You know I spent 3 ½ years of my life in a very bad place, I really suffered from the defeats from Mayweather and Pacquiao, and my other personal problems. I was sad, and I was sitting on my back side, thinking for 3 ½ years if I've still got it, can I really do it? Can I make a comeback? I made a comeback, and I found out that I haven’t got it any more, and that wasn't such a bad thing. Yeah I would have  liked to have come back and won the fight. Yeah I would have liked to have come back and won another title, but the main thing about the whole performance was about redeeming myself, because I felt like I let down a lot of people, with how behaved in my personal life. I'd like to think, that even though the result wasn’t what I wanted, a lot of people tip there hat to me and say "fair play you gave it go". So I can go into retirement as a promoter and a boxing trainer rather than a fighter , and I feel really content.

Click to listen to 'On The Ropes - #186' with Carl Froch, Ricky Hatton, David Price & Martin Murray.
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Jenna: Ricky, you said you feel after that fight that you don’t 'have it anymore'; what is it about your performance that makes you feel that way; Like, the first five rounds, you did better than a lot of people expected you to, and you lost to a guy who was a top rated guy at 147. What makes you feel that you don’t have it any more?

Hatton: Well, in typical Ricky Hatton fashion, I’ve never been shy of fighting the best, and my team advised me to pick an easy one for my first fight, but that’s not in my nature. I wanted to find out if I had it at world level. When you see the videos and you speak to former champions that are saying  you can look great in the ring, you can look great in the gym, you can look great in sparring, you can look great in training, but the minute you get in that ring, and do the actual fighting, and the bell goes, I knew from  2 or 3 rounds onwards,that  I just didn’t have it anymore, I am flattered that people are saying I looked pretty good for the 1st 5 rounds, but a fighter knows, his capabilities, what’s he’s done previously and in the past, and you know my timing wasn’t there, my shots are just flat, I couldn’t get quite out of the way of the counter hook, my feet weren’t there where it should be,  I found that when I was in the 2nd round and said to myself, 'come on lad, you just have to suck it up there now, and get try to get the win', and I just knew instinctively it just wasn’t there, but I gave it a go.

Jenna: A lot of people are wondering if you’re going to make a return to the ring. I know you are saying that you're retired, but what makes you think that you will not return, after you know you did alright, and people still think you can beat someone like Paulie Malignaggi?

Hatton: Well, to be honest with you, I think looking back if I did took maybe an easier fight, as much as saying that I hadn’t there, but there was bound to be a little ring rust, after such a period of time. I made the comeback for one thing only and for one thing only, and that was to make people proud of me again. What happened in my personal life, I felt like I let people so many people down, and I wanted to come back and make people proud of me again. I was depressed, I was suicidal. You know I was walking around over the 200 pound mark. I was absolutely massive, and I got all that weight down, and I picked up a real dangerous world ranked opponent and it didn’t come out. But after the fight, everyone was saying 'Wow you got to give credit where credit it’s due, you got to tip your hat off to Ricky there, he didn’t pick an easy one, and everything he's gone though gone through in his personal life, he got all them walls, and it didn’t end well, but we’re all proud of him and that was enough from him', and that’s all I wanted from the come back, and I got exactly what I wanted.

Jenna: Now that you’re retired, and you can focus more on your promoting and training, do you believe that you can continue to live a healthy life, now that boxing is completely out of your life, in terms of fighting?

Hatton: Absolutely! I think that the one thing that my comeback has made me do is it's made me content with myself, and with my life. My life really went off the rail to be honest, because I didn’t want to retire, I felt like I still had it. Well, now that I've tried, and I haven’t got it, I can go on with my life and be content. Everybody wants to say it’s over, but sometimes we need a little bit of ass kicking, that it isn’t there anymore. Realising that, I feel like I am a better father, I am a better partner, I am better trainer, and I am going to the gym training my fighters, I am learning more about their careers, instead of thinking to myself, well  I can still give it one more go, I can’t now. My career ended on a high note, even though it ended in defeat, that’s how I really feel, but I am now a father again, I have another on the way, and life is really, really good now. I won’t make a comeback and risk that again, and I am happy, I got what I want from boxing, and my next thing from a promoters point of view or a trainers point of view,  will be to come over to the U.S. and also make Britain proud again.

Jenna: Lets talk about your promoting company, Hatton’s promotions, can you tell the fans out there about some of the fighters in your stable, and some of the promotions that are coming up.

Hatton: Well I got Martin Murray, who is challenging Sergio Martinez for the Middleweight title in Argentina, in April. Martin Murray’s undefeated, he fought Felix Sturm in Germany for the world title and he got a draw, which a lot of people thought it’s hard done too. I mean if you get a draw in Germany  that pretty much tells you the story, but he’s fighting the best Middleweight in the world so we’re looking forward to doing that. I also train European Light Middleweight champion Sergey Rabchenko. He is also the WBC Silver champion, and he is also ranked pretty high by the WBC now, so he’s close at a possible shot at Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. I also have Scott Quigg WBA interim champion at super bantamweight, there is big talk about him for a big domestic match with Carl Frampton who just won the European title. So I have an army of full stables, I got Gary Brooklyn, I got Martin Murray British Champion, Scott Quigg British Champion, I got a real, real strong stable now, the names might not be in everyone’s lips in the United States,  but they have world rankings, and hopefully you will be hearing about them over there.

Jenna: Now you mentioned Martin Murray, he actually appeared earlier on the show discussing his fight with Sergio Martinez, and I wanted to get your views on that match, a lot of people are not giving him any chance at all, when I talked to Sergio Martinez he said, look Martin Murray is a dangerous opponent, whose got nothing to lose in this match, how do you see this fight?

Hatton: Well you know he is an underdog and rightly so, we know that, but I think when Matthew Macklin, when he boxed him, he did pretty good against Sergio Martinez. And Darren Barker also did, a middleweight rival from the UK, who did pretty well against him as well. I think Martin Murray is better than the other two. One thing is that Sergio is a wonderful champion, and we are the underdog, but every good champions reign has to come to an end soon or later. Some young gun who ends coming up and getting upset, and the opening is maybe coming up at the right time for Martin Murray.  He is confident, he is not sacred of going over there. He is young, he is full of bean, as we say in England. Martinez is 37 years of age I think, he was holding for dear life in the last round against Julio Cesar Chavez, and I am very confident that Martin would of beaten Chavez Jr. and so it might be just the right fight at the right time, but it will one of the greatest win of any Brit, because he is going to Argentina, and he has to do it in front of 40,000 Argentineans. Against someone who is number 3 Pound for Pound in the world. It would be a great achievement, but you know, hopefully it’s the right fight at the right time.

Jenna: Well I wanted to get your views on the British boxing scene and some of the stars that are currently out there. Amir Khan recently made some headlines,  because he said that he wanted to fight Vyacheslav Senchenko to avenge your defeat. What do you think of Amir Khan trying to pursue this?

Hatton: Well I think it would be a good fight for Amir to be honest with you. I mean if anybody can say, and remembers the Senchenko fight against Paulie Malignaggi, Malignaggi doesn’t stand in front of you, he moves he throws hand speed, he’s got lots of lateral movement, and this type of style beats Senchenko. Which obviously I didn’t have. My style is obviously jump down the throat, really attack go for the body, and stuff like that. It depends which Amir Khan turns up. If the Senchenko fight comes up, you know Amir Khan has good hand speed, he’s got good movement, wonderful boxing abilities but sometimes he can’t help but get involved and have a fight. But I think if he comes and boxes a fight stylistically similar to what Malignaggi did against Senchenko, I think it’s a comfortable fight for him. But if he stands there, and trades like the way he did with Garcia, like the way he did with that other gentleman that knocked him out, it would be a difficult fight. But styles make fights, but if Amir Khan comes with his hand speed and his movement, and he stuck to that game plan, I think it’s a good fight for Amir.

Jenna: The other British fighter I want to ask you about is Carl Froch. He is having a rematch with Mikkel Kessler, and according to most this will be the biggest fight in the UK for 2013. What are your views on this fight happening.

Hatton: It’s a very tough fight. He is the only man to beat Carl Froch in the last few years in a very close fight, a very good fight, one of the fights of the year. Very excited about it in England, it can come quicker. One thing about Carl Froch is he will always be remembered that he never got his chance to fight Joe Calazghe, and one thing everyone respects about Carl Froch is that he fights all comers. He boxed in the Super Middleweight tournament, the Super Six, he boxed in that. The amount of number  #1 contenders and former world champions and current world champions that he’s fought in consecutive fights, you have to tip your hat to him. He is a real throw back, and the fight with Kessler will be a good one, a 50/50 fight, and hopefully the winner of that one with fight Andre Ward, and set up a rematch there.

Jenna: Ricky, I just have a couple of more questions for you before I let you off the line. Manny Pacquiao had a shocking defeat at the end of 2012, and yourself having had a devastating KO loss to Pacquiao, I want to know what you think will be the hardest thing for Pacquiao to overcome being knocked out that way.

Hatton: Well you know it was very upsetting for me to see that fight. When I got knocked cold by Manny I know how hard it was for my girlfriend and my family to see me in that manner, and as soon I saw Manny like my heart went out to his family. It’s never nice to see but I think Manny should retire now, everyone has their own reasons, just like I had my reasons for making a come back, and Manny may have his own reasons why he wants to continue fighting. As an outsider I would like to see him retire, there‘s nothing more he can do. He is like 8 weight world champion, which is absolutely phenomenal, but I think his second to last fight with Marquez, he didn’t look great, there was a question mark about the decision there. He fought Timothy Bradley, which he didn't look great and he lost, but I thought he beat Timothy Bradley, and now that he got KO’d by Marquez in his last fight, the writing seems to be on the wall. You just see his performances, he went from being so brutal and destructive, with wins against myself, Cotto and Margarito, to just not looking as the same fighter now. Generally that seems to be that the writing is on the wall, but I am sure a lot of people were saying that about me when I made my comeback and we all have our own reasons, and I am sure Manny has them. As a boxing fan, a Manny Pacquiao fan I wouldn’t like to see him get KO like that, I think his last few performances haven't been that great, and I can’t see the performance is improving from here. But you never know with Manny Pacquiao, he is a living legend and he could come back and prove me wrong.

Jenna: Ok Ricky, I would like to get your view on Hatton promotions for 2013, and boxing health for 2013.

Hatton: Well you know it’s shame that Mayweather and Pacquiao didn’t get the fight on. I always wanted to fight the best, and when I won the title against Kosta Tyzsu he was #2 Pound for Pound in the world and the best in the division, even though I never was a really been a Welterweight I wanted to fight the best pound for pound in Floyd, and I tried and failed, and then I wanted to fight Manny Pacquiao. So it’s a shame that Floyd and Manny Pacquiao never took place, and it probably wont take place. If it did take place it lost it’s spark a little bit with Manny losing. But I would like for 2013 for the best fighters in the division to all fight each other, I mean that’s why we put the runs in the first place, to prove that we’re the best. The champions should fight each other and prove who’s the best in the division, and I have stable of fighters in Hatton’s promotions that are just in the brink of world titles that you won’t have heard of in the U.S. at the minute, but couple of wins, and you could see Hatton promotion in the U.S. very soon. That will be my next aim, to bring the fighters fighting for the world title in either Las Vegas or New York or something like that and to do the country proud and boxing proud, like the way I think I did in my career.

Jenna: Final question to you Ricky, you brought crowds in like no one has ever seen throughout your boxing career, is there any message you would like to pass along to all the fans out there that support you.

Hatton: You know I am very proud of the support I got when I went to the U.S. not just from the British fans. It was well documented of how much support I had from British fans, traveling all over to the U.S. and to Las Vegas, and I still have an army load of supporters from the U.S. I would like to thank them for their support, I had some wonderful times in the U.S. and I would like to think that everyone in the U.S. knew me as a fighter who laid it all out wore his heart in his sleeve. Hopefully it won’t be too long before as a trainer or a promoter I’m performing again in your country and I look forward to that date.

****Special thanks goes out to show contributors Tim & Ruben for there help bringing this piece to boxing readers

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