Ricky Hatton was reunited with old foe Kostya Tszyu for the first time since their epic 2005 battle at the weekend.
‘The Hitman’ enjoyed his finest moment when he won the IBF light welterweight title by forced the world class Aussie to retire on his stool in front of 22,000 fans at the MEN Arena in Manchester.
Nearly a decade later both boxers still have immense respect for each other and warmly embraced when they met up at press conference in Sydney to promote the upcoming fight between Hatton’s fighter Sergey Rabchenko and former three-time world champion Anthony Mundine.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen him since we fought and it was certainly a lot less painful than when we boxed,” Hatton joked.
“I still believe it was my greatest win. He’s one of the best light welterweights of all-time and although I did break a few Australian hearts that night, the way me and Kostya conducted ourselves after the fight was a good example to the youngsters.
“It was a wonderful fight and it couldn’t have been more physical. We both landed heavy shots, but the way he conducted ourselves was just as important as the actual fight.
“It’s was an honour to see Kostya again at the press conference and a privilege to spend the evening with him at the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame.”
Tszyu, who retired after that ferocious tussle in Manchester, is now a businessman living in Moscow. He admits that losing his title that night made him consider his future in the sport and he’s no desire for there to be a Hatton v Tszyu 2.
“I remember everything [about that night],” he said. “It was a memorable date for me because it made me realise that I had something else in my life other than boxing. Thank you, Ricky for that.
“As Ricky said, the way we conducted ourselves after the fight was a good example to the younger generation because what happens in the ring is one thing and afterwards is different.
“What happened was properly not what I expected but that is life and it was time to move on and see what was next in my life. I’m enjoying myself.
“I made an agreement with my mother that she’d never see me in the ring again and that’s why I’m not there.”
Courtesy of the Hatton Boxing press office