Photography by Hannah Flynn and MJ Smith
Ricky Hatton MBE was born in Stockport in 1978 and raised in Hattersley, a council estate in East Manchester. The former professional boxer competed from 1997 to 2012, and has since worked as a boxing promoter and trainer. During his boxing career he held multiple world championships at both light-welterweight and welterweight.
The Hitman in the ring
Ricky in training, 2007 (credit/Harry Potts)
Hatton, without doubt is one of the most beloved and popular British boxers of all time, with a raucous fanbase that travelled in their tens of thousands across the Atlantic to support him.
After a short amateur career, Hatton made his professional debut in 1997 and won the WBO inter-continental light-welterweight title in 1999. In 2005, Ricky defeated IBF Light Welterweight Champion Kostya Tszyu, this victory announced his entry to the upper echelons of world boxing. His career record: 48 fights, 45 wins 32 KOs.
Hatton was sometimes referred to by boxing fans as "Ricky Fatton” because he was known to allow himself to weigh as much as 35 to 40 pounds over his fight weight whennot in training. Ever since Ricky turned professional, he always opted to eat a full English breakfast before fights.
Ricky aged 15... and now (Photo: Harry Potts)
Hatton & Maywether press conference (Photo: Harry Potts)
Hatton suffered a career first defeat against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in an attempt to win the WBC, Ring, and lineal welterweight titles. This defeat took a severe toll on Hatton's well-being, as did a second defeat in 2009 when he lost his IBO, Ring, and lineal light-welterweight titles to Manny Pacquiao. In 2011, Hatton announced his retirement from the sport, but in 2012, more than three years after his last fight, he confirmed his comeback. A loss to Vyacheslav Senchenko in his first match back prompted Hatton to immediately announce his final retirement.
THE SHOOT: Hatton Academy, Hyde, Manchester
Ricky Hatton's boxing gym
Student reflection: Hannah Flynn
"Photographing Ricky Hatton was a real privilege and taught me a lot about working on a live shoot. Watching Ricky sparring with the young up and coming boxers was fascinating. Animated and focused in the ring and reserved and quiet outside the ring, Ricky was really easy to talk to and direct for the photographs. We used the available light in the gym for the majority of the photography and studio flash for the final showcase image of Ricky sat in the corner of the ring. After initial nerves, my experience of working under pressure was extremely positive - I'm look forward to the next challenge."
Hannah, Ricky & MJ
It was a pleasure to invite these talented young people into the gym, they did a great job… the photos look brilliant – Ricky Hatton