Sunday 18 February 2018

Boxing: Hatton plans final fight in bid to go out on high

Steve Bunce

Ricky Hatton has announced he will return to the ring this year to try to end his career on a high.

The former world light-welterweight champion suffered a knockout defeat to Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas last May, but wants another chance to show what he can do before he hangs up his gloves for good.

"As a fighter, you don't want your last fight to be like that," Hatton said of the second-round stoppage. "I want to finish at the top and I know my last training camp could have been better, so those are the reasons I'm giving it one more go. I've listened to the people close to me and know what I'm capable of and know what I've still got in me."

Although opponent, date and venue are still to be confirmed, the 31-year-old's camp would prefer a bout on home soil and are considering a fight with the current WBA lightweight champion, Juan Manuel Marquez.

The Mexican lost to Floyd Mayweather Jnr -- the only other fighter to have beaten Hatton in 47 fights -- on points in September, and has twice fought Pacquiao. The Colombian IBF champion Juan Urango is also on Hatton's radar.

"It's got to be a top-10 ranked, pound-for-pound fighter or a world champion," Hatton said. "I've boxed at such a high level and I could not have one more fight and people look at me and go, 'He's just had this fight just to knock someone over and end on top'. I want people to say, 'Give Ricky his credit -- he finished at the top'.

"After the Mayweather defeat (December 2007), I jumped into action straight away and I didn't really perform my best. But this time I've had a good rest, recharged the batteries and had a really good think; put that last fight really behind me and I'm happy to get back at it now.

"I'm going to have one more fight, maybe two more fights -- it all depends on the performance of the first fight," he said.

"You can see I've set the wheels in motion for retirement. I'm not going to have too many more fights. At the minute, I'm definitely just going to have one more." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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