Ahead of tomorrow’s press conference I’d like to express an open, heartfelt thanks to Mr Ricky Hatton.
Ricky, I’m pretty sure that, at this press conference, you’re going to announce a comeback. A decision, which, I’m sure will be scrutinised from pillar to post by all of boxing’s experts. Each will have their own opinion on whether it is the right decision for you and for the sport. So before the mayhem ensues (if indeed that is what happens) and behalf of the fans, I’d like to say a massive thank you for your contribution to British boxing and the sport of boxing in general, over the last 15 years. Like many, I knew from an early stage in your career that we were experiencing something very special. I still remember you stepping out in Madison Square Garden for your 2nd pro fight against Alvarez and thinking, ‘This kid has got some balls.” Eight years later I had the absolute honour of being at the M.E.N in Manchester the night you won the IBF light welterweight title from Kostya Tszyu. It remains one of the greatest nights of my life. Ask your legions of fans the greatest night of their life and I’m sure thousands will tell you the same thing. You didn’t just win a world title though. You put the spark back into boxing. You made it exciting again, at a time when the likes of Benn and Eubank were fading. You had an irrepressible thirst for success and took on all comers. You made it to the top and then took on the worlds elite. In my eyes you are a true boxing legend. In my eyes, you have absolutely nothing to prove to anyone in the world of boxing. You’ve done it all, and more than most already. For the memories and also now for inspiring a fresh crop of exciting youngsters, I thank you most sincerely.
Do I think you should return to the ring? It doesn’t matter what I think. I’m a fan. OK, a fan who likes to think he knows a little about the sport, but that does not give me the right to judge another man’s decision. What I will say is this. Whatever the announcement tomorrow, I wish you all the success in the world. And if that happens to be a comeback, I’ll be rooting for you all the way.