As Ricky Hatton's original conditioning trainer and nutritionist, I feel I am qualified to ask the most important question in light of his comeback.
I first met Hatton in 2001 and agreed to take care of his conditioning workouts and diet. It became apparent to me very quickly that he and his camp hadn't got the first clue on nutrition, avoiding overtraining and all of the fundamentals that the top world fighters have in place. Ricky would blow up by two or three stones (around 20 kilos) between fights and I told him in no uncertain terms this would eventually be his undoing.
I tried to explain the accumulative effect that this kind of weight loss has on the body - particularly when you do it three or four times a year as he was back then. I tried to make him understand that the top light welters at that time, Oscar De la Hoya, Shane Mosley, etc kept within a few pounds of fighting weight all of the time.
Ricky chose to ignore my advice and continued to overindulge after each fight. I pointed out that when he ultimately got beat he would never know if it was because the opponent was the better man or that his own physical reserves had been diminished through all of the bad living.
That I truly believe is the reason for this comeback. If you truly give your all to your boxing career in terms of discipline and healthy living all year round like a true professional athlete should and then you get beaten by the better man you can live with that! You have been defeated but not diminished - there is a big difference.
This was a subtlety lost on Hatton at the time but now perhaps he understands what I was trying to tell him. So, the only question he needs to answer now is this time, during his comeback, however long it lasts; will he keep control of his weight between fights? If you're reading this, good luck Ricky, you need to drop the hangers-on that you always had around you - if they are still there - and bring in some people who will tell you the truth about how to live like a champion.
The hangers on will stick with you even when you are living it up, content to share the money and the limelight while it is there once more to be enjoyed. The best coaches and trainers however, will walk away when solid, experienced advice is ignored - just as I did in 2002.Suggest a correction