RICKY HATTON: SHOULD BBBofC ENCOURAGE HIS COMEBACK OR DOES THEIR DUTY OF CARE MEAN THEY SHOULD DISCOURAGE IT?
FORMER TWICE WORLD CHAMPION RICKY HATTON BEEN PROMISED A LICENCE TO BOX BY THE BRITISH BOXING BOARD OF CONTROL SUBJECT TO PASSING A MEDICAL. LAST WEDNESDAY RICKY APPEARED BEFORE THE BBBOFC FOLLOWING HIS APPLICATION FOR THE RETURN OF HIS LICENCE THAT WAS TAKEN FROM HIM BY BBBOFC FOLLOWING A NEWS OF THE WORLD STORY AND PICTURES, WHICH CLAIMED RICKY WAS TAKING COCAINE. FOLLOWING THE BBBOFC MEETING SECRETARY ROBERT SMITH MADE THE ASTONISHING STATEMENT, "HIS LICENCE WILL BE GRANTED PENDING THE COMPLETION OF MEDICALS.FROM WHAT HE WAS SAYING, HE SEEMS VERY SETTLED WITH HIS FAMILY. HE HAS ALREADY HAD SOME OF THE MEDICALS AND WE ARE MAKING SURE HE'S ON TRACK. HE SPOKE WELL, LOOKS FIT AND HE WANTS TO HAVE ONE MORE HURRAH."Surely, this does not suggest he is going to have just one fight against top class opponent because that would be a totally irresponsible decision. Ricky is likely to need at least 3 winning contests before meeting real top class opposition.When he was boxing Ricky was the hero of Manchester, the large city in the North of England, as a light-welter and then as welterweight he won 45 contests and his only two defeats were against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.It is over 3.5 years since the time Ricky was beaten in two rounds by Manny Pacquaio. All applications for boxing licences depend upon medical clearance before being granted.However, surely a 33-year-old applicant seeking to return to boxing after a being banned from boxing following the taking away of his licence as a BBBofC registered boxer due to an expose by the late News of the World accompanied by photographs, that Ricky was caught in the act of taking cocaine, would need to have the most intense medical tests before it would be possible to adjudge whether Ricky should be allowed to return to the loneliest of all competition arenas.Boxing Action has struggled hard trying to find a good reason for Ricky to come back and none has been revealed.So we called Bruce Baker who heads the European division of Luxembourg Boxing Federation (LBF) and he was asked if LBF would licence Ricky?His immediate reaction was, “The decision would first begin with an searching medical and until this in depth medical is undertaken and the all clear is given, any other comment on the decision would be spurious,” Mr. Baker said.He went on to say, “Luxembourg has the most carefully devised medical for boxers in Europe and European medicals are considered to be among the best in the World.”Pressed to answer the question if Luxembourg would licence Ricky Hatton?He replied, “if he passed our medical tests then it would be difficult not to allow the application. However, we would not want to see Ricky return to a boxing ring if there was a possibility it would devalue his excellent record.”This was an unarguable reasonable point of view and no doubt one that would be shared by all boxing fans.It is well documented that Ricky could not resist meat puddings and a pint of beer, or two or three or … in between fights and his weight became a yo-yo with the increases alarming.It has been reported that this year he has shed a whopping three stone (42 pounds) in order to prepare for his come back.Has this been done by natural means so be it. It is hoped that any medical tests carried-out before his licence application is granted will include knowing the method used to reduce three stone (42 pounds.) which is thereabouts of a quarter of his boxing weight.We hope this shedding of weight was bt a natural method and will have the approvalof medical experts.Sadly all is not well with Ricky’s wider family. His father, Ray who played a leading role when Ricky was boxing is said not to want to Ricky to make a boxing comeback,When it became known that Ricky was to announce his comeback at a media conference Father and son were involved in an angry incident outside Ricky’ s fitness centre and the police issued a statement that Ray Hatton. Mr. Ray Hatton was arrested and accepted a police caution.His new trainer will be Bob Shannon, who trains Ricky’s brother, Mathew. Trainer Shannon said: 'This has come out of the blue for me. I got a phone call from Ricky two weeks ago asking me to come and see him because he was thinking of fighting again.'I looked him right in the eyes and said to him, “Why are you doing it. He told me he couldn't stop thinking about the Pacquiao fight and what he could have done differently.“Everyone deserves a second chance and when he told me how he wants to redeem himself for his son, his family and his fans, that's what I wanted to hear. I wanted him to want to be the man he used to be.Bob Shannon has no doubt he can guide Hatton back to the top.'It's now my job to get him back up there. For the last week we've been doing hand eye co-ordination and timing sessions and I can honestly say he's unbelievable.'It's like he's never been away from the gym and I feel like I've trained him from day one because we've just gelled together.'He still moves like he used to do and my job is to work with that class and ability he's got. I'm so excited this legend is back in British boxing and he will be a world champion without a shadow of a doubt.'While Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. remain on boxing no matter how improving is his new training methods he will not be top dog and will not win any World title either of these two outstanding champions might hold.~