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Monday, May 4, 2009

Ricky Hatton should retire, but can hold his head up high, reckons Barry McGuigan

A great career is over. Or at least it should be.

Mercifully Ricky Hatton did not sustain a prolonged beating.

Nevertheless the end was brutal. It was unnerving seeing that final punch. After a loss like that there is no point talking about a future in the ring.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks. And yesterday's outcome showed that it can be dangerous to try.

Hatton chose to go with Floyd Mayweather Snr to refine his technique, to take him to the next level, from world champion to pound-for-pound king.

He looked a confused fighter to me. Against mortals Hatton was able to overcome his flaws. He was too good for most, ridiculously strong at the weight.

But against the very best he came up short.

He need not come down hard on himself for that.

The defeats have come against two of the greatest fighters to have laced gloves.

Floyd Mayweather Jnr is one of the best defensive boxers of all time. Manny Pacquiao stands comparison with Roberto Duran and he was one of the most ferociously attacking fighters in my lifetime.

Hatton was relentless himself at his best. He has compiled a fabulous career and put serious money in the bank.

There is no point carrying on.

It won't ever undo the defeats of the past 18 months and he has no chance of avenging them at this stage.

Pacquiao admitted that Hatton hurt him with genuine punches. It is the mistakes that brought him low.

It was too late for May- weather to change Hatton's approach. In retrospect he was the wrong choice completely.

Hatton ended up being compromised by the changes made. He was diminished by them, not enhanced.

I understand the compulsion to give it one last go, to right the wrongs of yesterday. But sport is not like that.

Hatton has entertained us tremendously over the past 12 years.

He was a world class boxer, one of Britain's finest, no question. Now is the time to go.


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