Two-division world champion, Ricky Hatton, has opened up on what was a difficult camp ahead of his 2009 clash with pound-for-pound legend, Manny Pacquiao.
‘The Hitman’ bounced back from his first ever defeat against Floyd Mayweather Jr, recording wins over Juan Lazcano and Paulie Malignaggi in 2008 to get his career back on track. However, the proud Mancunian was knocked out cold by ‘Pac-Man’ in the second-round of what was expected to be a much closer fought battle at Maddison Square Garden.
Speaking to The Sun, Hatton told of his gruelling preparation for the bout, revealing that he was knocked down by a sparring partner just a couple of weeks before the showdown.
“Floyd Mayweather Sr trained me into the ground.
When I was like eight weeks out from the fight I felt fantastic but he drilled me and drilled me, round after round after round.
Then two or three weeks before the fight my sparring partner, one of them knocked me on my a***. I thought, ‘This ain’t right.’”
Despite the poor build-up, the now 44-year-old explained and maintained why he refused to pull out of the contest, fearing that his well-documented mental demons could have been even worse if he let his fans down by cancelling the fight.
“My head wasn’t right because since the Mayweather fight my mind was never right. Even if the training hadn’t gone bad, my head wasn’t right.
I was never gonna pull out of the fight because the tickets had been sold and I’m a proud man.
If I had pulled out, that might have done more [mental] damage”.
The much-loved Brit is still present in the sport, supporting his son Campbell Hatton and acting as a trainer for this weekend’s ‘Box Off’ competition, which pits boxers from Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and London up against each other.