An emotional Ricky Hatton said he got all he wanted “and more” out of his exhibition bout with Marco Antonio Barrera that he says brings down the curtain in his boxing career.
Hatton and Barrera boxed for eight two-minute rounds at the venue – formerly known as the MEN Arena, Manchester – where Hatton boxed many times including becoming a world champion for the first time by beating Kostya Tszyu in 2005.
Neither was it Barrera’s first time boxing there, although his memories were less happy, having been stopped by Amir Khan on a cut in 2009.
Barrera, 48, and Hatton, 44, came to the ring at the end of the Boxxer show for an exhibition shown on Sky Sports after Natasha Jonas’s win over Eve-Marie Dicaire, although the contest was not licensed by the British Boxing Board of Control so it was effectively a different show with even former referee Mickey Vann, 78, who was a regular for Hatton’s fights coming back to be the third man in the ring.
Both boxers looked in good shape for their age and the action was lively enough without ever spilling beyond the exhibition it was.
“I got everything [I wanted out of it] and more,” Hatton said. “I wonder how it was going to go because me and Marco are friends but we are proud men and I thought with such a big crowd is it going to get heated. But it was good, it was entertaining and everything we wanted.
“I’ve done loads of good things in boxing – the Kostya Tszyu night here when I won my world title, the fights in Vegas where all these fans went to watch me, but because of the stage of my life, this is up there with the best.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.
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