Time for Ricky Hatton to hang up the gloves?
By Eric Marks, Doghouse Boxing (May 19, 2009)  
It is hard to say the a 30 year-old fighter with only two losses and only one in his best fighting weight should hang up the gloves. Yet this maybe the best option for Ricky Hatton. Two plus weeks removed from a beating at the hands of Manny Pacquiao, Ricky Hatton now contemplates his future inside the ring. It seems he will take some time to make a decision but he should strongly consider calling it quits or perhaps a farewell fight against a big name that he can potentially beat.

While Hatton has always been exciting to watch he has been beaten badly against the only two elite fighters he has faced. Additionally, he lacks the abilities needed to compete at the highest level. In many ways, he resembles Fernando Vargas, a guy who was good but never could seem to win against the elite fighters. To be fair, Vargas was actually more competitive against Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, and Shane Mosley (first fight) than Hatton was in either of his two losses. But like Vargas, he finds himself flirting with retirement at age when many fighters are hitting their prime.

Attempting to continue competing in the junior welterweight division against the other talented pool of fighters does not seem wise given the risk/reward of doing so and state of mind Hatton must be in after such a devastating loss. History seems to suggest that rebounding from these losses is an uphill battle and he runs the risk of further deterioration. However, a final fight against a properly picked opponent may be in order.

The first guy that comes to mind is Zab Judah. He is back down around 140 pounds and should he win his fight July 18th, it could set up an interesting fight with Hatton. Judah has name recognition and has chin and stamina struggles at times, something Hatton may believe he can exploit. Beyond Judah, the other guy that comes to mind is the star himself, Oscar De La Hoya. Hatton may want to consider trying to convince De La Hoya to unretire for one fight. It would no doubt be a big fight and Hatton probably feels like he could at least outlast Oscar. For De La Hoya, he would have the chance to get that bad taste out of his mouth from being shut out by Manny Pacquiao and get the grand ending he has always sought.

Ricky has always been a good guy in boxing and no doubt a competitor. He doesn’t make excuses and will objectively evaluate his career and chances for success inside the ring. If he fights again we can be sure we will see a spirited effort and if its retirement then best of luck to a real fighter who gave it his all each time he fought.

Eric at: ericmarks66@hotmail.com

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