Boxing


Mayweather Hatton: Win Or Lose, Will This Be "The Hitman's" Last Fight?

18.10.o7 - by James Slater: Though he says he hasn't really give it much thought, Ricky Hatton did recently ponder the notion of what he may do once his super fight with Floyd Mayweather is over and done with. The possibility is there that Hatton will feel satisfied enough with a win to call it quits on a great career. While there is also a chance that were he to lose to "Pretty Boy," he would feel so low he'd hang 'em up due to feeling so badly dejected. There is the possibility then, however vague it may perhaps seem, that the Ricky Hatton we watch on December 8th is the last one we will see in a boxing ring..

But if this does indeed happen, and Ricky's illustrious and passionately followed boxing career finishes with a bang this December, will it be a happy ending or a heartbreaking one for he and his massive army of fans?

Scenario one: Hatton wins and then calls it quits in the sport feeling he has nothing else to prove.

Not only will this turn of events shock all those people who feel Mayweather has the fight pretty much in the bag, it will also see a great fighter going out while being both unbeaten and at the very top of the mountain - in other words, something that doesn't happen in the sport too many times will be witnessed. Indeed, only a handful of greats have gotten out while still
holding a blemish-free record and without succumbing to the temptation of "just one more fight." If Ricky is able to pull off the upset in Las Vegas AND retire with a perfect record afterwards his place in boxing history will be solid as a rock.

Both events will be hard ones for Hatton to put into place, not least actually beating the 38-0 pound-for-pound king. Ricky, though, should he do what he and his fans feel is certainly not beyond him and shut Floyd's mouth by defeating him, may then find that securing the happening of event number two - his going out at the very top - to be equally hard, if not harder. Could Ricky be one of the rare boxers who retires with a clean sheet, or will the desire to have more fights prove too strong? Put it this way, IF Hatton, 43-0, can beat Mayweather and then fight no more, he will always be remembered as one very special, not to mention smart, fighter.

Scenario two: Hatton is badly beaten and quits the sport in a fit of depression.

This scenario is not at all as appealing, not only to Hatton and his fans, but to boxing fans in general. We all would like to see a happy ending, wouldn't we? Especially for a fighter as popular and likeable as "The Hitman." If Mayweather does as he and a lot of experts feel he will and out-boxes Hatton with some ease, however, the ending to a hell of a ride for British boxing could be at an end. The whole of the U.K will be in something of a lull if its most popular fighter in years is beaten. That would be bad enough, but if Ricky then announces he will fight no more his fans will be inconsolable. Again though, such a turn of events does seem unlikely. Only if Hatton is beaten in an embarrassing fashion - say by quick KO or by being made to look foolish all night long - will he think about retiring after. That won't happen, though. Not to a gutsy and tough-chinned fighter like Manchester's finest.

A loss is a strong possibility, obviously. But Hatton, a fighter who is capable of giving most any rival a very, very tough night's work at the very least, figures to be more than just competitive when he climbs through the ropes on December 8th.

So, how will things transpire post-super fight?

Hatton is unlike a whole lot of other fighters out there, in that his ego is not uncontrollable and he does not crave the spotlight of fame. As such, the thought of retirement is not as daunting for him as it is for some. With all he ever wished to accomplish in a career now his, Ricky just might walk away from the game after putting a huge exclamation mark on it by beating Mayweather. What will prove very magnetic to Hatton and his boxing again is his fighting sprit. A born fighter, Hatton will find it tough turning off the aggression he has channelled into boxing for so long. If he comes out a winner in December, as odd as it may seem, the chances of him then retiring (and sticking to it) will be at least considerable. Call it 50/50

If he comes unstuck against "Pretty Boy" those odds should be made even wider. If the fight's close and Hatton pushes Mayweather to the limit there will be no feeling of dejection and no retirement. Only if Ricky is easily beaten - something that is not going to happen, as Floyd will certainly know he's been in a tough one for some time after fight night - will he quit the sport. If he loses, and loses in a competitive nature, retirement will not be taken - thoughts of a return fight, one Hatton knows he can win, will make it so. In the final analysis, Ricky will not want to go out on a loss, not least one to Floyd Mayweather.

Will Hatton win? The outcome of this super fight, like the odds of Ricky retiring after a win, are 50/50. "Undefeated" is a pick'em fight!

Article posted on 18.10.2007



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