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On this day in 2011: Ricky Hatton announces retirement from boxing

Ricky Hatton announced his retirement in 2011 (Dave Thompson/PA)
Ricky Hatton announced his retirement in 2011 (Dave Thompson/PA)

On this day in 2011, former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 32.

Hatton won world titles at light-welterweight and welterweight and was one of Britain’s most popular fighters of all time, as well as one of the biggest names in world boxing.

Known as ‘The Hitman’, his explosive, unrelenting style had ensured sell-out crowds for all his major fights, while he had been beaten only twice in 47 contests.

Ricky Hatton in action
Ricky Hatton was one of Britain’s most popular boxers (Dave Thompson/PA)

When announcing his decision to hang up his gloves, Hatton said: “It’s a very sad day for me. I know it’s the right decision though.

“I’ve known it was the right thing to do for 18 months to be honest. It’s a bit of a relief to finally do it.”

The Manchester boxer had not fought since a punishing second-round knockout delivered by Manny Pacquiao in an IBO light-welterweight world title fight in Las Vegas in 2009.

His only other defeat at the time had been against Floyd Mayweather Jr in a WBC welterweight world title contest at the same MGM Grand Garden Arena in 2007.

Ricky Hatton takes a punch from Manny Pacquiao
Ricky Hatton retired following his defeat to Manny Pacquiao (Dave Thompson/PA)

Hatton, who had turned professional in 1997, won his first 21 fights before beating Jon Thaxton on points to become British light-welterweight champion in 2000.

He produced a thrilling upset to win the IBF light-welterweight title by stopping Australia’s Kostya Tszyu in 2005 and became a two-weight champion by defeating Puerto Rican Luis Collazo to take the WBA welterweight title in 2006.

Hatton’s status soared further with a memorable fourth-round knockout of Jose Luis Castillo in Las Vegas in 2007 before suffering his first career defeat, a 10th-round stoppage, to Mayweather later that year.

He was stripped of his boxing licence in 2010 for alleged cocaine use and, after stepping out of retirement for his final fight in November 2012, he was stopped by Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Senchenko in round nine.