Ricky Hatton comeback: Hagler shows Hitman the way | Pakistan Today

Ricky Hatton comeback: Hagler shows Hitman the way

Marvin Hagler is one of the lucky ones. Hung up the gloves, said goodbye to the ring, embarked on a life more ordinary. Comfortable, ostensibly happy, plenty of interests, could do without boxing – although boxing, a watery imitation of the rich, bloody spectacle it was in his day, could do with Hagler now. “I found that there is another life after boxing,” Hagler tells BBC Sport. “I’m doing films, television, commentating. Stuff that keeps me busy and keeps my mind off the love of my life, which is boxing. “I didn’t have to return to the game just for the money or anything like that. I’d done the homework beforehand. I got ready for the day, prepared myself, so that when I retired I didn’t have to go back. But even if you do what I did, boxing will always stay in your blood and that’s probably why Ricky Hatton is back.”
The five greatest comebacks
Sugar Ray Robinson: The former welterweight and middleweight world champion retired after losing to light-heavyweight king Joe Maxim in June 1952; returned January 1955; reclaimed the world middleweight crown from Carl ‘Bobo’ Olson in May 1956.
Eder Jofre: Brazil’s former bantamweight world champion retired after losing a rematch to new title-holder Fighting Harada in May 1966; returned August 1969; won world featherweight crown from Jose Legra in May 1973.
Muhammad Ali: Banned and stripped of his world heavyweight crown after refusing to be drafted into the US military, following his defeat of Zora Folley in March 1967; returned October 1970; reclaimed the world heavyweight crown from George Foreman in October 1974.
Sugar Ray Leonard: The former welterweight world champion retired for a second time because of an eye injury after beating Kevin Howard in May 1984; returned in April 1987, claiming the world middleweight crown from Marvin Hagler in his first fight back.
George Foreman: Lost the world heavyweight crown to Ali in 1974 and retired after a defeat by Jimmy Young in 1977; returned March 1987; reclaimed a portion of the world heavyweight title with a KO defeat of Michael Moorer in November 1994.
Hagler had a more compelling reason than most to come back. The undisputed world middleweight champion for seven years in the 1980s, he lost his crown to Sugar Ray Leonard in 1987. Hagler accused the judges of giving the title to Leonard, he accused Leonard of fighting like a girl. Some writers agreed with him, some didn’t. Leonard retired rather than fight Hagler again. Three years later, Leonard, back on the comeback trail himself, offered Hagler the rematch he so desperately wanted. Only he didn’t want it, not any more. “A while ago, yeah, I wanted him so bad,” said Hagler at the time. “But I’m over that. I like me now. I love me. I think I’m a very nice guy carrying myself well.” Here’s Hatton, sweating like a pig in his gym in Hyde. All set for his comeback, against Vyacheslav Senchenko in Manchester on Saturday. Different era, same dilemma. Hatton didn’t like himself, didn’t love himself. For a time before he came out of retirement, he wasn’t a very nice guy carrying himself well. “If you saw what went on between the four walls of mine and my girlfriend Jennifer’s house, how bad it got, it was unthinkable,” Hatton, who struggled with depression and substance abuse after being knocked out in two rounds by Manny Pacquiao in 2009, tells BBC Sport. “Everything was hard work. I was walking around at just under 15 stone. I went to the doctors and he told me I was a heart attack waiting to happen. I’d walk up the hill to the pub and by the time I got to the top I’d have to sit down on the bench outside: ‘Get us one in, I need five minutes.'”

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