When Ricky 'The Hitman' Hatton stepped into the ring with Kostya Tszyu on 5 June 2005, he was WBU champion, undefeated in 38 fights of which 28 were knockouts. Yet Ricky was the underdog against the legendary Tszyu, the undisputed IBF light welter-weight champion. After four years of defending his own WBU crown, this was finally Ricky's chance to show what he was made of. In front of 22,000 spectators at the MEN Arena in Manchester and millions more on TV in 80 countries, Hatton the challenger pummelled Tszyu the champion for 11 blistering rounds. Tszyu failed to get up from his stool for Round 12 and Ricky Hatton was suddenly the man to beat in the toughest division in World Boxing.
Born in 1978 in Stockport, Greater Manchester, Ricky began to box at ten, and soon had to make the agonising choice between boxing and football after impressing at trials with his beloved Manchester City. He continued to impress in the ring and develop his will to win. After losing in the semi-finals of the 1996 World Championships when he felt he should have progressed to the final, Ricky threw his bronze medal in a drawer in disgust, and never looked at it again. He gave up his job as a carpet-fitter and turned pro in 1999, taking the Boxing world by storm and clinching the WBU belt within two years.
Hitman is Ricky's story in his own words, from the training ring of Sale West Amateur Boxing Club to the world stage. With Ricky's inimitable mix of quiet, down-to-earth modesty, sportsmanship and ruthless determination to succeed, this is a unique book for every true sports fan.