Ricky Hatton claims he is now “man enough” to admit he will never fight again.

The former world welterweight champion has not entered the ring since a mauling by Manny Pacquiao in May 2009, a defeat which effectively ended his career after which he became depressed and turned to drink and drugs to fill the void.

Despite never officially retiring from the sport, Hatton lost his boxing license last year owing to his out-of-the-ring problems and has since taken on the role of a promoter, pushing Amir Khan’s bout with Paul McCloskey this weekend.

And the Mancunian believes he is now on the road to recovery.

He told The Mirror: “I wake up every morning and still miss it. But the one good thing I do have is something between my ears despite all the hard fights.

“If the fire isn’t burning to get up at 6am and go running, then spar, diet and make the other sacrifices I have made for so many years, then I’ve got to call it a day.

“I didn’t cope well with not having that feeling any more – of having your hand held high, hearing the crowds cheer and heading to Vegas.

“After the Pacquiao fight I was sulking, depressed and drowning my sorrows. Depression and a few pints is definitely not a good mixture.

“I haven’t coped well with retiring, but you have to hit rock bottom before you get back into gear – which is what I’ve done.

“It still breaks my heart to think I won’t fight again – but at least I’m man enough to admit it now.”


Antonio Margarito plans to outwork Miguel Cotto in Saturday night’s huge Vegas showdown.

The Mexican challenges for Cotto’s WBA world welterweight title in what many believe could turn out to be the Fight of the Year at the MGM Grand.

And he knows that a fast start is essential to stop the unbeaten Puerto Rican getting into rhythm.

Margarito says he’s been employing those sort of tactics since his shock defeat by Paul Williams last year.

antonio_margarito.jpgHe told ESPN website: “During the fight he (Williams) wasn’t hurting me. He was just throwing punches, and I let him throw punches because he wasn’t hurting me. When I was watching the fight, I saw that he was just throwing more punches than me. That’s where I lost the fight.

“I wasn’t into the fight for those first few rounds, and that cost me. After I saw the tape I said, ‘that’s never going to happen to me again.'”

Last time out Margarito walked through everything Kermit Cintron could throw at him en route to a stoppage victory.

And on Saturday night he’ll need to show similar aggression and bravery if he’s to tame Cotto.

“I think it’s going to come down to whose rhythm we are going to dance to. I need to start my pace fast and see if he can keep up.

“I’ve been doing it because now it has become my mentality. From the start I’m going to throw punches and throw punches and go as hard as I can.”


calzaghe.jpgJoe Calzaghe admits he will head to Las Vegas next week desperate to get his gym back on the winning track after a series of setbacks for his father’s Welsh boxing odyssey.

Calzaghe’s stablemates Enzo Maccarinelli, Gavin Rees and Kerry Hope have all tasted defeat in recent weeks – a feeling 36-year-old Calzaghe has not had to cope with since his amateur days.

Calzaghe said: “It drives me on to go and do it for the gym. Obviously it was disappointing on a personal level but as a professional I’ve just got to concentrate on the things that keep me unbeaten.

“Enzo and Gavin were in two massive tests and Kerry just came up short as well. But I’m sure they’ll bounce back stronger from defeat. I don’t have that option because I’m too long in the tooth now.”

Calzaghe is putting the finishing touches to his preparations in the Cwmcarn this week before jetting out to America to face former middleweight great Bernard Hopkins on April 19.

Calzaghe said: “I’ve always wanted to top the bill in Las Vegas and the fact that I’m doing it in one of the biggest fights for years shows how much I want it. Hopefully Hopkins is going to come and trade – but I won’t hold my breath.

“Hopkins is good at making people look bad but he won’t do that to me. That’s the only way he can handle me and that’s why he’s not a well-loved fighter.

“Hopkins has hardly ever been in any exciting fights and he’s very negative. He’ll do everything he can to knock me out of my rhythm because he knows I’m stronger, faster and fitter than him.”

Calzaghe says he is delighted that experienced referee Joe Cortez has been announced as the official for their April 19 showdown, despite being perceived to have done Ricky Hatton few favours against Floyd Mayweather.

“I don’t do holding and mauling and Joe Cortez is well aware of that,” added Calzaghe. “He’s an experienced referee and he’ll enjoy a quiet night because all he will have to do is count to 10 and save Hopkins.”


Joe Calzaghe says he will learn from Ricky Hatton’s mistakes when he fights Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas on April 19.

joe_calzaghe.jpgHatton struggled to keep his cool before and during his fight with Floyd Mayweather in December when he was dramatically knocked out in the 10th round.

Yet Calzaghe is sticking to his usual training routine in Wales as excitement builds ahead of the big fight on both sides of the Atlantic.

“Perhaps it got to Hatton a bit but you’ve got to keep your discipline and stay cool, calm and collected,” Calzaghe told the Western Mail.

“I’m excited about the fight now – and I’ve been told that the buzz is already there around it in Vegas – but I’m doing nothing different.

“My training doesn’t change and I don’t change. I feel under no more pressure than usual and it’s important to stay calm.

“I’ll get more focused as the fight nears and when I go over to Vegas I’ll keep away from the hustle and bustle of the strip.

“I’m relaxed, confident and I’m just going to do my business in the ring.”

Calzaghe says he made his mind up to fight in the United States when he went out to support Hatton in his bout with Mayweather in December.

“When I went out to Vegas for the Hatton fight that was what swayed my mind to make this happen.

“I saw the reception Ricky got and thought it would be shame not to sample that before I retire. It’s the challenge I wanted. I could easily have stayed at home and defended my title in Wales, but I wanted the challenge to test myself.

“That’s why I’m all about, to go outside my comfort zone and fight in the States where things might not go to plan with the judges or whatever.

“But my plan is to dominate Hopkins and make sure it’s not a close fight.”