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Hatton cried after getting knocked on his backside by a sparring partner before Pacquiao loss

Manny Pacquiao Ricky HattonBy William Mackay: Former two division world champion Ricky Hatton is still going over the trauma of his loss to Manny Pacquiao and how he felt he was overtrained for the fight. It’s pretty sad stuff given how Hatton chose to quit rather than continue on with his career.

Hatton told the BBC Manchester “I had peaked too soon. Everyone in the camp could see I needed a rest. There was one day when one of my sparring partners knocked me on my backside. I came out of the ring, sat on the steps and put a towel over my head and I just started sobbing and crying.”

I heard rumors that the sparring partner that knocked Hatton on his duff was Cuban junior middleweight Erislandy Lara. If this is in fact true, then there was no shame in Hatton getting knocked down by this guy because Lara is a former Cuban amateur star and would have likely knocked Hatton cold if they fought in the ring. Lara would likely give Manny Pacquiao a lot of problems unless he was forced to drain himself to fight Pacquiao at one of his catchweights that he sometimes fights his opponents at. Lara would give anyone problems in the junior middleweight division, and to spar against a tiny light welterweight like Hatton, that’s like a snack for Lara.

I don’t think Hatton was overtrained for the Pacquiao fight. I think he was more weight drained because he started training camp really heavy from having put on a ton of weight after his win over Paulie Malignaggi in November 2008. It looked like Hatton rewarded himself with food and drink after that win, because he looked awfully fat as he went into his training camp for the Pacquiao fight.

Hatton would have likely been knocked out early against Pacquiao even if he came into the fight at his very best, because Hatton fought the wrong fight against him. Hatton’s best win of his career against against an old Kostya Tszyu in 2005. Hatton won that fight, but he really struggled to get it against a guy that wasn’t the same fighter he once was. Hatton had to wrestle Tszyu a great deal to get the win. You can make a very strong argument that if Hatton wasn’t able to wrestle Tszyu in that fight, Hatton would have lost because Tszyu was lighting him up each time there was separation between them with Hatton unable to hold. A big part of Hatton’s win over Tszyu was due to the wrestling he was able to get away with on the inside the kept Tszyu from punching and tired him out. That was Hatton in his prime. By the time Hatton fought Pacquiao four years later, Hatton had really aged and was still fighting the same basic way. He tried to slug it out against Pacquiao and got blasted out. It was a dumb way to fight but he only has himself to blame.

Hatton later said he had thoughts of committing suicide following his loss to Pacquiao but thankfully chose not to take that avenue.

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