10 years ago, Ricky Hatton won the world title against Kostya Tszyu in one of the most exciting matches in boxing history.
In honour of Hatton’s legendary win, Victoria Warehouse is hosting a massive Las Vegas-themed party with aerialists, magicians, a casino, DJ sets from Bez and Vince Vegas, and live music from Black Grape, Northside, and more. There will even be an experiential area where guests can immerse themselves in the history of Hatton’s boxing career. All proceeds from the event will go to Ricky’s two nominated Manchester charities Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention & Barnabus Manchester. Tickets can be found here.
On June 4th 2005, Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton faced off against Kostya ‘Thunder From Down Under’ Tszyu at the Manchester Evening News Arena, and he took the title of IBF Light Welterweight Champion in a shock win that left the 22,000 strong crowd stunned.
Hatton was the underdog in the match and at 26 years old was mostly known in Britain as a young crowd favourite. Conversely, the Australian Kostya Tszyu was an established fighter; the first man to unify the light welterweight division in 30 years, a champion for more than a decade, and considered a national hero back home. At 35, his only defeat prior to the Hatton match was to Vince Phillips in 1997 and the clash was named Ring Magazine upset of the year.
Hatton won the first two round of the match with his aggressive start, while Tszyu hung back, cementing his reputation as a slow starter. However, during rounds three, four and five, the champion qualities of Tszyu became more evident. The Australian champion settled into his rhythm and timed his counter punches. The middle of the fight saw some questionable behaviour, including Tszyu knocking Hatton to the canvas with a low blow, and Hatton returning the low blow in the ninth round.
By the twelfth round, Hatton had a slight lead on all of the three judges’ scorecards, and his aggressive form had begun to take its toll on Tszyu. Both fighters took great punishment, but by the final round, Tszyu failed to emerge from his corner. Despite the use of illegal tactics in certain parts of the fight, the post-match speeches were considered heartfelt and an excellent example of good sportsmanship. Hatton said that he would be honoured to ever become a champion of the same ilk as Tszyu, and Tszyu stated that he had been beaten by the better fighter.
The world title match of 2005 is widely regarded as the peak of Ricky Hatton’s career due to the stamina and determination he displayed during the fight. Kostya Tszyu is still loved in Sydney, after retiring from a distinguished career.
In a subsequent match against Carlos Maussa, Hatton earned the award of 2005 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year. Ricky Hatton went on to beat Jose Luis Castillo, Paulie Malignaggi, and Juan Urango, but he began to break his stride, first by losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr in December 2007, then being beaten in May 2009 by Manny Pacquiao. In March 2010, Ring Magazine ranked Tszyu the number one junior welterweight of the 2000s, and Hatton the number two.