Ricky Hatton, who recently made headlines with a cocaine scandal, an admission to suffering from depression and a drinking problem, and a trip to rehab, was stripped of his license to box by the British Boxing Board of Control yesterday. Hatton, who turns 32 in a couple of weeks, also had his manager's license revoked, but was allowed to continue on as a promoter, due to the affect that fighters in his employ may have felt if he were forced out as head of Hatton Promotions, which might be the fastest-growing stable in the world.
It's not really a surprise to anyone, as the BBBofC is notoriously harsh and serious about public scandals or any other offense by a licensed fighter. But fellow Brit Amir Khan says that the board was too harsh:
"People make mistakes. We all want to see Ricky get well again. He was a role model for so many young people, and certainly for boxers like myself. But Ricky's situation is a warning to younger fighters to look after themselves, not make the same mistakes, and ready themselves for a career coming to an end."
Police are still planning an investigation into Hatton's drug usage, which went wide on a video from News of the World recently. The video was given up by Emma Bowe, an amateur fighter and friend of Hatton's.
As for Hatton's license to box, I'm sure he'll get that back someday down the road. I fully expect we'll see Ricky Hatton fighting again after this, which no matter how much spin you think has been put out there (and it's likely quite a bit), has pretty well damaged Hatton's ego and public image. He's a proud guy, and I'd imagine will want to get back out there and give his fans a lasting memory beyond a big bender. At 32, he's not that old, and while he's been knocked around a good bit, we've all seen fighters with a lot less to gain come back and fight for a lot less money than Hatton would receive. But maybe that will have left his blood by the time this is all done, too. Do you think Hatton will fight again?