Stockport-born Richard ‘Ricky’ Hatton made his professional boxing debut against Colin McAuley at the Kingsway Leisure Centre in Widnes in September, 1997, winning by technical knockout in the first of four scheduled rounds. Forty-three fights and just over a decade later, he would finally surrender his unbeaten record to the similarly unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
On December 8, 2007, in a fight billed, imaginatively, as ‘Undefeated’, Hatton (43-0-0) challenged Mayweather Jr. (38-0-0) for the World Boxing Council (WBC) and The Ring world welterweight titles. In the sixth round, Hatton was deducted a point by referee Joe Cortez for hitting his Mayweather on the back of his head, having pushed him off-balance through the top rope.
Thereafter, Hatton began to tire and Mayweather started to take control. With just under two minutes remaining in round ten, Mayweather landed a powerful left hook that knocked Hatton to the canvas, via a ringpost. Hatton rose at the count of eight, but was unsteady on his feet and, despite hanging on valiantly, was caught with two more left hooks that knocked him down again. After 1:35, Cortez waved off the contest, without starting a count, to give Mayweather victory by technical knockout.
Hatton subsequently returned to the light-welterweight division, making two successful defences of his International Boxing Organisation (IBO) world light-welterweight title, against Juan Lazacano and Paulie Malignaggi, before being knocked out in the second round by Manny Pacquiao, back at the MGM Grand Arena, in May, 2009. After a three-year hiatus, he made a brief, but unsuccessful, return to professional boxing before retiring with a 45-3-0 record.