Boxing: Ricky Hatton, Britain's Greatest Light-Welterweight Fighter, Retires

Martin SaltCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2011

There is only one Ricky Hatton...
There is only one Ricky Hatton...John Gichigi/Getty Images

Ricky Hatton has today announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 32.

After two years out of the sport after his defeat to Manny Pacquiao, Hatton has finally ended all rumours of a potential comeback, leaving with a professional record of 45 wins in 47 fights with two defeats. He retires as a former two-weight world champion.

Hatton first turned professional in 1997, with his rise through the boxing ranks coming under the watchful eye of his trainer Billy "The Preacher" Graham. Hatton won the British light-welterweight title in 2001 after a tremendous fight with Jon Thaxton.

Hatton would then go on to win the lightly regarded WBU light-welterweight title, before his career defining fight with Kostya Tszyu on 4th June 2005 for the IBF and Ring Magazine light-welterweight titles.

Tszyu was widely regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters at the time and had held the IBF title for nearly a decade. Hatton went into the fight as a heavy underdog but managed to shock the Australian by defeating him via a 11th-round TKO. Tszyu would never fight again and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010.

In his next fight, Hatton would defeat Carlos Maussa, unifying the WBA/IBF and Ring Magazine light-welterweight titles and would be named as the Ring Magazine's Fighter of the Year for 2005, the only boxer from the U.K. to be so honoured.

Hatton defeated Luis Collazo for the WBA welterweight title in May 2006, before retuning to light-welterweight to fight Juan Urango and Jose Luis Castillo.

In December 2007, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. inflicted Hatton's first defeat via a 10th-round TKO. Hatton started the fight well, but he was eventually worn down by the then pound-for-pound king.

Hatton returned with a victory against Juan Lazcano. For his fight with Paulie Malignaggi, Hatton fired his longtime trainer, Billy Graham, and hired Floyd Mayweather, Sr. Although the services of Mayweather, Sr. appeared to improve his defence, it helped little with his next fight.

On 2nd May 2009, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hatton fought Manny Pacquiao. Hatton was brutally knocked out in the second round and has not returned to the ring since.

Hatton was immensely popular in the U.K. with his hard and entertaining fighting style. His fights were never dull and always exciting to watch. He would always bring legions of fans to the US for his fights and he was generally considered to be a people's champion.

Hatton will also be notoriously remembered for his massive weight gain between fights, from which the the nickname "Ricky Fatton" came to be. Hatton often lampooned this image by wearing a fat suit when making his ring entrance. Unfortunately, it is most likely that the weight gain contributed to his later struggles against Mayweather and Pacquiao.

After two years of silence, Hatton has finally decided the time is right to announce his retirement. He is a successful businessman in the U.K. and has invested his money wisely by becoming a boxing promoter. He now promotes a number of up-and-coming fighters, including his brother Matthew Hatton, Denton Vassell and Ryan Rhodes.

There's only one Ricky Hatton. Thanks for the memories.