Numerous reports have emerged this week that Juan Manuel Marquez and Ricky Hatton are in talks over the possibility of a showdown between the two next summer in the UK.
Promotions chief executive Gareth Williams told the Daily Express : "If Ricky does carry on it would be an ideal fight for him to take on Marquez. He is an elite fighter, just like Ricky, who will want to challenge the best. It makes far more sense to fight Marquez than some of the other names that have been bandied about."
Although ‘The Hitman’ himself has not confirmed the rumours, he did mention on Friday— after witnessing his brothers failed attempt to capture world championship gold—that he is considering a comeback
''Seeing [brother] Matthew and all the lads I'm promoting be successful has given me that itch back. Hearing that roar and seeing my fighters succeed, I might give it another go.''
During a recent interview with a Mexican radio station Marquez cemented his interest in a bout—but adding that his immediate preference lies with a third fight with Manny Pacquiao
''The first choice is Pacquiao, but they will negotiate with Mayweather. If that doesn’t happen I will consider going to England to fight Ricky Hatton.''
Hatton of course would come into this bout fresh of a two round annihilation at the hands of Pacquiao, the consensus pound for pound king.
Two fights previous to that he was outclassed and eventually knocked out in the tenth round by Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Likewise, Marquez would approach the fight having come straight from a one-sided beating and second round knockdown at the hands of Mayweather this September.
The savage beating Pacquiao imposed upon Hatton in May should mean that any mention of a Hitman return would shock even his most ardent supporters.
Those supporters that have still failed to remove their rose-tinted glasses will point out that Hatton’s two defeats came at the expense of the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Furthermore, Hatton can still draw crowds with the best of them, 60,000 at the City of Manchester Stadium for a Marquez bout would be a sight to behold.
They would add that the Marquez fight could be the prelude to a farewell tour, spanning the leviathans of United Kingdom sporting amphitheatres such as Wembley and the Millennium Stadium.
I, on the other hand, have long since removed my rose tinted glasses for fear of being blinded permanently.
I do agree that Hatton has only lost against the crème de la crème of the pugilistic art. Both of those bouts took place against the best fighters in the world. When Hatton has attempted to fight at such a level he has been left seriously exposed and flat on his back.
Floored five times in the fateful bouts with Mayweather and Pacquiao—and eventually knocked out in both—Ricky is too slow and predictable at that level.
Prior to the Pacquaio and Mayweather losses Hatton had gone ten years without defeat, and during his time in the ring he has amassed a 45-2 record with 32 coming by way of knockout.
When Hatton has fought at the tier below he has dominated—crushing Paulie Malignaggi, battering Luis Castillo and wearing down the seemingly indomitable Kostya Tszyu.
He remained the Ring’s Light welterweight champion for four years, defeating all contenders and pretender’s on his way to a prolonged domination of the weight class.
Unable to compete with the current elite and with nothing left to prove, Hatton's only motivation for a comeback should be based on padding his legacy. It is impossible for him to accomplish anything beyond what he has already achieved.
Juan Manuel Marquez pushed Manny Pacquiao twice and may be on the cusp of greatness. Unfortunately for Hatton, any credibility he would assume through victory would be instantly undermined -as was Floyd Mayweather's victory-by Marquez's unfamiliarity with the weight class.
Essentially a Hatton victory would prove nothing.
His perpetual weight fluctuations are also a major cause for concern. Another self-imposed starvation to make the 140 pound limit may lead to a very lethargic Hatton performance, and ultimately severe punishment at the hands of Marquez.
Richard Shaefer, Chief Executive at Golden Boy Promotions, cites that a light-welterweight fight between the two would be a great event.
"I think it would be a great, great all-action showdown so I'm frankly extremely excited if that fight could happen. I have had conversations with Juan Manuel Marquez on Monday here at my offices.''
''I have informed him of the possibility of a showdown in England, in Manchester, against Ricky Hatton and he immediately accepted the challenge, accepted the opportunity and would love to come to Manchester."
It pains me to say it, but the fight would be fuelled with a very transparent greed. Golden Boy—and kudos must go to them—have seen a marvellous moneymaking opportunity.
With a sixty thousand gate and perhaps one million pay-per-views to be sold, who could blame them? Yet I still feel strongly that other than lining the coffers of both the fighters and the promoters alike
this fight serves no purpose on the boxing landscape.
It was of course the same boxing landscape which was once inhabited by Ricky ‘the Hitman’ Hatton as he ruled the light-welterweight division.
That memory of such a tenacious, resilient and strong champion is worth much more than the reality of a million dollar comeback.