Hang 'em up, Hitman
Johnny Nelson is in no doubt as to what Ricky Hatton should do. He also thinks Pac Man beats the Pretty Boy!
Last Updated: 05/05/09 1:28pm
Retirement is the only option left open to Ricky Hatton.
He has achieved everything he wanted except becoming pound-for-pound number one in the world and he has failed twice at that - the second time miserably.
That is going to have a huge affect on Ricky, it is going to make a huge difference to his determination and his reasoning.
That hunger cannot be there any longer and that will tell when he has to get in shape. He doesn't mind putting on the weight of course, but is another thing taking it off when you have lost that one thing that kept you going.
Floyd Mayweather Jr is now back, Manny Pacquiao is the number one and Ricky now knows he doesn't have the beating of either.
Of course he does not want to go out on a performance like that, but what fighter does? And what other choice does he have? Who is there left for him to fight?
People are talking about one last swansong back here in England, but the only fighter out there he could possibly go in with is Junior Witter - and he's fighting for a world title in July so that is not going to happen.
It is time to call it a day. Ricky pretty much said before the weekend that he would do so if he lost. He has so many other interests outside the ring that he can hang up the gloves, look back proudly on what he has achieved and console himself with the fact that his only two defeats have come against the very best.
I always thought Pacquiao would be too quick and too powerful for him, but I didn't think I would be proved right inside two rounds. But it wasn't hard to see what went wrong.
I don't think Ricky was reckless. It was just nervousness. And it is not the first time we have seen a fighter do just what he did. Remember Steve Robinson against Prince Naseem Hamed. Steve made the same mistake thinking he was too big and too strong and had to win the fight.
The first time he got hit by Naz, it shocked him, stunned him completely - and that is just what happened with Ricky. People will say 'why didn't he back off after the first knockdown?' - but he couldn't. He was supposed to be the bigger man, the stronger man, the gameplan was to bully Pacquiao.
So as soon as he got hit, he couldn't deal with it. It wasn't supposed to be that way and you could see the look of bewilderment on his face. That is why he charged back in, desperate to prove what he thought he could prove and stick to the gameplan.
That gameplan though was flawed. It is one thing working on your own sharpness, your own game, but the one thing you cannot afford to do is ignore the guy in the other corner. Hatton's team, to my mind, showed a complete lack of respect for Pacquiao's speed and power.
I have never been a fan of Floyd Mayweather Snr, so sadly it didn't come as a real surprise. In my opinion he's a hustler and a charlatan and it's all about him. Turning up late for training, claiming himself to be the best in the business. He even turned up late for the fight!
Even sat here in the UK watching the preparations you could see they were all wrong. Not only did they overlook Pacquiao's strengths, they didn't even get Ricky right. The one thing in the gym that gives your sharpness is padwork, yet there was Mayweather Snr working orthodox pads.
It sounds so obvious that it can be missed, but that is the first place you start preparing for a southpaw. You need more than left-handed sparring partners. You need to concentrate on your footwork, you need to distribute your weight properly and Hatton clearly hadn't done any of that. Watch the fight again on Friday night and you will see Hatton's early jabs flying to Manny's left-hand side.
The gameplan seemed all about Hatton's power and in doing that they took away his speed. When you lose speed - and Pacquiao was always going to be quicker - you struggle. And when you struggle you panic, start to jump in - and end up in trouble.
Watch Pacquaio's padwork again and you will see what we saw in the ring. That roll out to the right and the left hook; we saw him doing it time and time again and surprise, surprise, it was a left that finished the job off. He had done his homework, he had prepared properly.
It helps that Freddie Roach is an absolute genius. He knew Ricky would make the mistake in thinking he could bully Pacquiao, he knew he would leave himself open trying to do just that and he knew he had the fighter to follow the plan to perfection. Freddie Roach did not overlook what the other guy was bringing to the table.
Take nothing away from Pacquiao, though Anybody that knows me knows I love Floyd Mayweather Jr to bits; I think he is the best fighter I have seen for a long, long time. But I will say this now: Manny Pacquiao will beat him.
When Floyd boxed Ricky he had to ride the storm for two or three rounds before he could control the fight and calm Ricky down - compare that to Pacman the other night. He was sharper, faster, stronger, from the first bell. And although he only needed two rounds, we know he can keep that up for eight, nine, 10 rounds.
Mayweather has never fought for three minutes of every round, but look at the Oscar De La Hoya performance - against who Mayweather also struggled late on - and we know Manny can. He will knock Mayweather out, I will say that now. If Mayweather doesn't get himself disqualified that is the only outcome I can see if these two meet.
Hopefully by then, Ricky Hatton will have his feet up and be watching it as an ex-fighter, who took on the very best but sadly for him, came up short.
Is Johnny right? Does Pacquiao beat Mayweather? Let us know your views by filling in the feedback form below...