(transcribed by Michael Readman) When a fighter retires, more times than not, they never truly leave the ring. Ricky Hatton was one of those fighters, as when he left boxing in 2009, he was unable to adjust to life no longer being a boxer. He had a series of well publicized personal issues and it seemed that the story of Ricky Hatton was heading down a tragic path. In 2012 he got his life together and got healthy, and attempted a comeback with his aim set at reclaiming a title. Sadly the comeback ended with a TKO9 loss at the hands of Vyacheslav Senchenko, and while Hatton showed flashes of his former self, he was no longer the same fighter and shortly after, he announced his final retirement.
Many wondered where Hatton’s life would go after the loss, but in defeat it turned out Ricky found the peace he was looking for and has been truly able to leave the ring and focus on the next chapter of his life. In Part 2 of my Ricky Hatton interview, he speaks about his book “War and Peace” in which he discusses his life in and outside the ring, and goes into never before heard detail about the issues that nearly cost him everything. In addition, Hatton talks about his promotional career and what he ultimately hopes to accomplish with his current stable of fighters at Hatton Promotions. Here is what Ricky Hatton had to say.
Jenna J: Ricky, I want to ask you quickly about a few fights on the British boxing scene. A fighter you actually fought in the ring, Viacheslav Senchenko is returning against Kell Brook and a lot of people think Kell Brook is a future champion. I’m curious, do you actually think he can win the fight? I know he’s a heavy favorite to win it but a lot of people say he’s underestimating Senchenko.
Ricky Hatton: I think Kell Brook will win. Styles make fights and Senchenko, Paulie Malignaggi proved that Senchenko can be outboxed and Kell Brook is not an out and out boxer like Paulie, but he has very good boxing skills, unlike me where I jump down my opponents throat every time.
I think style wise Kell probably has the style to do him but Senchenko is a lot tougher than what he looks really. To be honest with you Kell’s gotta show a lot of courage and a lot of character against Senchenko because he doesn’t look the most menacing of characters, but I did fly at him and he took everything I could do and he eventually got me with that body punch in the end.
He’s a lot tougher than what he looks and sometimes Kell, like against Carson Jones and sometimes in his last fight, the second fight with Carson Jones a couple of times he was on top so much he just then seemed to switch off, he won’t be able to do that against Senchenko. My money will be on Kell Brook but Kell Brook’s gotta do everything right in that fight in order to get the win.
Jenna J: Now Froch vs. Groves, a very big fight over there. How do you see it?
Ricky Hatton: I think you would have to say Carl Froch is the favorite. George is a lot better, he’s improved over the last few years, a hell of a lot. To be honest anybody who stands and has a fight with Carl Froch, that’s then type of fight he likes to be involved in.
I used to be in toe-to-toe wars and stand there and have a fight, George Groves won’t do that. He will jab and move, I don’t think George Groves is, you know when Carl Froch got beat by Andre Ward, George Groves isn’t an Andre Ward, I think he’s be the first to admit that, but Andre Ward showed angles and movement and was able to outbox Carl.
When you think George Groves could have the style to beat him, he’s not gonna stand there and have a fight with Carl, and play into Carl’s hands, he’s gonna jab and move. My money would go on Carl Froch, but I can see how an upset could be caused there because styles make fights.
Jenna J: Ricky, I wanna turn to something now, something you have coming out, a personal project, that would be your book on October 10th the story of Ricky Hatton comes out. Can you tell the fans a little bit about what they can expect from that?
Ricky Hatton: Well you know I had a lot of good times in my career and in my life, and also sadly a lot of bad times in my life and when you think of the fights I’ve been involved in and the fan base I had and the people who I was competing against, it’s a fantastic boxing story.
But sadly in retirement and in defeat and other things I’ve had in my personal life of a sort of working class hero, boy next door type kid who everyone loved, I lost a little bit of respect along the way with my personal problems. It’s not just a boxing story, it’s a story of life and there will be a few things that people will be very surprised with.
Jenna J: The books called ‘War and Peace’ Why did you go with that title?
Ricky Hatton: Well obviously I’ve had a lot of wars in the ring and a lot of wars out of the ring and eventually I was on top of the world for such a long time of my career, and then my life fell to pieces. I started getting involved in drinking too much and dabbling in taking drugs here and there. Along with suffering badly with depression.
I tried to take my life on several occasions you know, even when I made my comeback and everyone thought “Oh my god, what if he gets beat here, is he gonna go back to all them horrible places that he worked so hard to get away from?” The opposite happened.
Unbelievably in defeat I found peace, like I spoke earlier I got the answers I wanted but I’ve gone from mixing it with some of the best pound for pound fighters in the world, two weight world champion to then this laughing stock where my life fell apart and I wanted to end my own life to now present day ultimately finding peace, going on with my training and my promoting and being a father again.
Life is really, really good, really. We all make mistakes in our lives but its them people that scrub themselves down and come back from their mistakes, and I’d like to think people will say “Fair play to you.”
Jenna J: Ricky, for the people that are gonna check out the book, what do you think will surprise them most about it?
Ricky Hatton: I think what will surprise them most is that everyone thought that the reason for my depression and my problems because of my problems and my suicide attempts was because I got beat by Floyd Mayweather and I got beat by Manny Pacquiao and I didn’t really want to retire, and that’s not really what it is. Those contributed into it because I struggled to come to terms with getting beat like that but there’s a lot of personal things.
I had a massive fall out with my family, I thought I was very ill treated by my family and there’s some aspects in the book of how we went from this really close knit family to actually how my family actually treated me in the end.
It was really heartbreaking stuff and the Hatton family, we always showed to the outside public as a real strong family unit, my Mom and Dad used to come to the fights, to be honest with you the way I was treated in the end it turned out to be a bit false and I think people will be very, very surprised how many things have actually gone on in my life, you know outside of the ring and not just in.
Jenna J: I want to ask you about your promotional company and some of the things you’re working on and some of the fighters. I know Martin Murray is looking for another fight, can you let us know a little bit about what’s going on with that?
Ricky Hatton: Martin Murray has had some opportunities given to him, he had a fight lined up against Julio Chavez Jr. in Mexico but sadly Martin got injured and then we had an offer for the Peter Quillin fight, which I don’t think was the best offer for Martin’s future career.
We’ve got a fight lined up for him in Australia and I’m just hoping Martin gets a visa because he’s struggling to get into the United States at the minute, even though he’s a real reformed character he’s a victim of having a checkered youth and upbringing. He’s proved he’s a model professional, he’s done this and that but he might not be able to get into the United States.
We’re going down the Australian route, as a promoter I promote so many Australian talents in David Hooper and Cameron Hammond the two Olympians from Australia. We have Lucas Browne the heavyweight champion, so Australia is another window we’re trying to look for Martin to showcase his talents because we wanna kick on from the Sergio Martinez performance when we thought he was very hard done. So we should be making an announcement very, very soon.
Jenna J: You mentioned before when I last had you on the show that your goal was to have Hatton promotions bring them over to the United States and make big fights over here. How far in the future do you see that happening for you?
Ricky Hatton: Well you know I’ve got some great champions and a great ranking to do that, we’ve got Martin Murray, he’s a world champion in waiting, I think Sergey Rabchenko could also be a world champion. In Australia, David Hooper I think has a chance to become an all time Australian legend, he is really that good.
I have Lucas Brown the Australian heavyweight champion who fights against Richard Towers in a few weeks. Lucas has just broken into the WBC’s top fifteen, he has a record of nineteen wins seventeen knockouts, so you know if he can beat Richard Towers who is the EU champion, he could maybe sneak into the top ten.
We’re now on the verge of having so many champions that are recognized over here in England but they are not quite recognized in the United States but they are only a couple of fights away from getting that title shot and then maybe we can kick on and maybe Hatton promotions can be promoting over in the United States of America.
Jenna J: Ricky it has been an absolute pleasure having you return to “On The Ropes” boxing radio. I have one final question. All the boxing fans out there, your fans, any message you want to pass on to them?
Ricky Hatton: Just that I’ve I had a lot of wonderful times as a professional boxer you know and my goal is to give a little bit of something back to boxing. I’ve done that in the United Kingdom, but I wanted to be a recognized boxer in the United States as well and that’s what I ended up getting and I’d like to do the same as a promoter.
I’m making good progress to do that and I hope people read my book, my life was just as exciting as my boxing career, sometimes for the wrong reasons but a lot of people will know me through my boxing but they will read a lot more about the man. It’s not just a boxing story and I hope the fans really enjoy it.