Ricky Hatton is well placed to weigh in on who was the better fighter between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Manchester hero Hatton moved up a weight and went to Las Vegas with his famously passionate army of fans to fight welterweight ruler Mayweather Jr in December 2007, the same year he broke several of José Luis Castillo’s ribs in another huge night.
Hatton attempted to pressure the American in the early rounds, though he was not able to work on the inside as he so famously liked to do. Mayweather took over, and it eventually ended in the 10th with a perfect check-hook sending Hatton to the canvas, at which point his corner threw in the towel.
After rebuild wins against Juan Lazcano and Paulie Malignaggi, Hatton headed back to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in May 2009 to take on multi-weight champion Pacquiao. Hatton was stopped in the second round having also been down twice in the first.
Speaking on Up Front with Simon Jordan, he admitted he is often asked who is the better out of the two modern legends and sometime pound-for-pound greats. His answer is clear.
“I’d say Mayweather all day.”
The now 44-year-old Hatton has since spoken about the breakdown of relationships and his battle with depression and addiction in the wake of his loss to Pacquiao, but having come out the other side is now at peace with what he achieved in his career.
“I was devastated at the time [to lose] but I look back on that time with more pride now.”
Mayweather hung up the gloves, at least professionally, with a record of 50-0. He’s now the face of the exhibition circuit, travelling the globe for money-spinning events.
Pacquiao has not officially retired, and was last out in a bruising loss to Yordenis Ugas in 2021. Whilst he toys with the idea of a ring return, he also has politics to keep him busy.
Hatton’s answer rings true in the result of the fight the pair shared. Mayweather came out on top via unanimous decision for the unified welterweight titles, although most fans feel that the rivalry marinated too long before they finally faced off.