Ricky Hatton has fought some of the biggest names in boxing, but the Mancunian legend has revealed that the toughest opponent he ever faced was Luis Collazo.
It’s an unusual choice for the former light-welterweight and welterweight champion to make. During an illustrious career that ran from 1997 to 2012, Hatton fought some of the best boxers of his time, including Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, who many consider to be among the best of all time.
However, his 12-round clash with Collazo in May 2006 saw him make the jump from light-welterweight to welterweight as he became a champion across two weights by beating the American. And for that reason, Hatton sees it as his most challenging bout.
Speaking to talkSPORT, he explained: “That was my toughest fight. I mean, getting beat by Pacquiao like I did was very tough to come to terms with and Floyd Mayweather was just technically so good.
“But from a physical point of view [Collazo was tougher]. I never made fights easy for myself. I was always going to have it out with someone.
“I’m 5ft 6in. I’m not tall for junior welterweight. But I wanted to do what my heroes had done. I wanted to try to become a world champion in two weight divisions.
“It was the worst after I’ve felt. I had hot sweats, shaky, shivering and I couldn’t even go to the afterparty I was in such a bad way.
“Every time he hit me – Floyd Mayweather wasn’t a big puncher, he was technically unreal – but [Collazo] was a big punching southpaw, and every time he hit me, oh my lord!”
Despite the pain, Hatton’s risk was rewarded with victory, but it was a very close call as he beat Collazo on points, with two of the judges scoring 115-112 for Hatton, and the third scoring it 114-113.
Hatton’s incredible record
Hatton is one of the most successful boxers in British history. He commanded a huge following at the peak of his powers and is still popular with fans within and beyond the sport today.
He first announced his retirement in 2011, but quickly backtracked and said he would return a year later. Sadly for him, the comeback was shortlived. His fight with Vyacheslav Senchenko started, but he soon faded and by the middle rounds Senchenko was well in control of proceedings.
The decisive blow came at the end of the ninth round, when a left hook to the kidney put Hatton on the floor and unable to find a way back.
The Senchenko loss was one of only three defeats Hatton suffered across a 48-fight career. The other two came against Mayweather (in 2006) and Pacquiao (three years later, in 2009).
He finished his career with 45 wins, 32 coming from a knockout. “I needed one more fight to see if I had still got it – and I haven’t,” he said after the Senchenko loss. “I couldn’t have done any better.
“A fighter knows and I know it isn’t there any more. I have got to be a man and say it is the end of Ricky Hatton.”
Written and distributed by Chat T Sports.