Ricky Hatton Shares His Proudest Moment

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What have you been doing since you hung up your gloves?

I own a gym in my hometown of Hyde, where I train fighters, including the European light middleweight champion, Sergey Rabchenko, and the number one European bantamweight contender, Zhanat Zhakiyanov. I also train a stable of young prospects, plus I’m a promoter with my own company, Hatton Promotions. I’m busier than I’ve ever been.

What was the proudest moment of your career?

In terms of boxing itself, it’s got to be beating Kostya Tszyu for the IBF light welterweight title in Manchester in front of 20,000 fans. Tszyu was the number one light welterweight and one of the top five pound-for-pound boxers in the world at that point. But the thing I’m most proud of is my fan base. About 25,000 people flew to Las Vegas for my fight with Floyd Mayweather [in December 2007], and 60,000 came to Manchester for my homecoming fight with Juan Lazcano [in May 2008]. I may not have been the best British boxer ever, but I think I had the best fan base.

You were notorious for gaining weight between fights, but always turning up in great shape on fight night. How were your training camps?

They were tough. I’d spend the first month losing weight, which meant the whole camp would last 12 to 14 weeks. I used to call my camp ‘the monastery’, because I did everything properly. As well as my boxing training, I would lift weights for strength and conditioning and I always had a nutritionist to make sure I was eating the right food and supplements. I was very disciplined and had strong willpower.

Do you have any regrets about your career?

Putting on too much weight between fights is something I wouldn’t do again if I had the chance. I made life so much harder for myself and I think it shortened my career. If I wasn’t training for a fight I would hardly go to the gym. Now I’m a trainer myself, I always tell my boxers, ‘Don’t damage something that pays the bills’. They need to look after their bodies and keep in shape.

If you could have a rematch with any of your opponents, who would it be?

I would love to have fought Floyd Mayweather again – he was the best opponent I ever faced. I threw lots of hooks in that fight, which made it easy for him to pick me off. If we’d fought again, I would have thrown a lot more straight punches. I’m not saying I would have beaten him though, because he’s just that good. He’ll be remembered as a modern great.

You recently opened the Hatton Academy, which runs the first boxing fitness programme accredited by the British Boxing Board of Control. What’s the idea behind it?

The Hatton Academy offers a multi-level boxing fitness programme for educating group exercise instructors, personal trainers and fitness instructors. I designed the courses to give trainers all the boxing knowledge they need to deliver boxing fitness sessions without the need for contact, which makes them safe but effective and fun. I hope it will give more people the opportunity to get an insight into boxing training and to get fit at the same time.

Sam Razvi wrote for Men’s Fitness UK (which predated and then shared a website with Coach) between 2011 and 2016.