Ricky Hatton: The Most Wanted Man in Boxing

Barney CorkhillSenior Writer IDecember 18, 2008

On Dec. 8, 2007, Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton was getting geared up for a career-defining fight against a man widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world at the time: Floyd Mayweather Jnr.

A few hours later, he received a left hook from the "Pretty Boy" and the fight was over. The thousands of boisterous travelling Hatton fans were silenced following verse after verse of "walking in a Hatton wonderland."

The next day, everyone was speculating that this could be the end of Ricky Hatton, that he would retire. It is the inevitable talk that accompanies any successful fighters' first loss.

But the Hitman bounced back and beat Juan Lazcano, albeit slightly unconvincingly, in his homecoming fight.

Just last month he looked back to his best as he comfortably dealt with the cocky Paul Malignaggi.

And now, little more than a year on from the first loss of his career, Hatton is once again the most wanted man in boxing.

His development under Floyd Mayweather Sr. has improved his game even further, and it looks like he may have a tough decision to make in the near future.

Does he fight Manny Pacquiao, who has established himself as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world after his hugely impressive win over the Golden Boy Oscar de la Hoya, or does he fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.?

In that fight one year ago, Hatton was looking to gain the moniker of the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and a fight against Manny Pacquiao would once again give him that opportunity he so craves.

But last time he did that, he suffered a set-back. This isn't likely to figure in Hatton's thinking, however, as he always likes to challenge himself.

But an epic rematch against Mayweather, which it has been reported Mayweather wants, would give him a chance to banish his demons from Las Vegas. He can finally put the ghost of his only career loss to bed.

There would be huge interest in this fight, as there would Hatton vs. Pacquiao, as it could well be Mayweather, and perhaps Hatton's last fight. Mayweather would be coming out of retirement for it.

Yet, if Hatton wins, it could pave way for a third fight as a decider, which would create a huge trilogy which would go down in history among the likes of Ali v Fraiser.

We will have to wait to see which one, if any, Hatton will accept, but one thing is for certain—we're in for a treat whichever way he chooses to go!