This was Hatton’s opportunity to get himself back amongst the big hitters once again.
His unblemished 43-0 record and WBC Welterweight belt had been taken by Floyd Mayweather Jr in a clinical display by the American in 2007.
Hatton had then made efforts to rebuild his career in 2008 with victories over Juan Lazcano and Paulie Malignaggi taking his career record to 45-1.
This was sufficient to get Hatton a fight against Filipino superstar Pacquiao.
Pacquiao had just defeated Oscar De La Hoya to take his record to 48-3-2 and having just turned 30 years-old he was at the peak of his powers. He had won world title belts in five different weight divisions and was hoping to make it six with victory over Hatton.
As the below clip shows, Pacquiao won in devastating fashion, in the closing moments of the second round.
He had already put Hatton on the canvas in the first round, and it was clear from the second that Pacquiao’s left hand connected with Hatton’s jaw that this fight was done.
It was a comprehensive dismantling by Manny Pacquiao as he landed 73 of the 127 punches he threw, and a hit rate of almost 60%.
Knockout of The Year 2009: Manny Pacquiao vs Ricky Hatton. pic.twitter.com/1qRMn6T8Co— Jorge Alvarado (@FightFreak3437) February 15, 2021
Whilst Hatton tried desperately to close the gap between the fighters, he constantly put himself in harms way.
Only landing 18 of the 78 punches he threw, hitting with less than a quarter of his attempts.It was a defeat that defined Hatton’s career and one that he never really got over.
He was 30, the same age as Pacquiao when they fought. Whilst Hatton would fight just once more aged 34 against Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko in 2012, more than three years after the Pacquiao bout.
He then immediately announced his retirement following that fight.
Pacquiao on the other hand won world titles at two other weight divisions to extend his record to a barely believable eight weight divisions in his career.
Whilst having a host of other big money fights, most notably a defeat to Mayweather Jr in 2015.
Ricky Hatton will always remain a British boxing legend, but on the night of the 2nd May 2009 he found his level, and it was a painful lesson to learn.