Wednesday 16 October at 10pm on ITV4
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“About round six I thought, ‘This ain’t the same’, it’s like you have ring rust and everything, don’t you, but no pal - this ain’t f-ing happening. I dug in, I tried, just to see if I could. I’m feeling happy now. All I wanted to know was, ‘Have I still got it?’, and I f-ing haven’t.“ Ricky Hatton
This new factual documentary features unprecedented access to Ricky Hatton as he makes a comeback for his last ever fight, for the first time on British television.
Produced by Ad Hoc Films, Night Of The Fight: Hatton’s Last Stand is a raw, at times brutal account of events surrounding his final professional bout in Manchester against Vyacheslav Senchenko.
The film features close-quarters access to Ricky, his team and his immediate family with exclusive scenes from training and ringside on fight night. Cameras are allowed into Ricky’s home, to the dressing room before and immediately after the fight, bringing viewers a unique personal and professional insight into one of boxing’s most colourful characters at a key moment in his life and career.
The boxer is seen in the gym, and running through the streets as part of his training. He says his desire to return to the ring is burning strongly after being the subject of lurid tabloid headlines over drug-taking and binge drinking since his last fight in 2009: “It’s not just the defeat by Manny Pacquiao – I feel like I’ve let people down and all that good I did in the ring has all been for nothing at this moment in time. It’s something that needs doing not only for me to move on in me boxing career – but to move on in me life.”
Ricky is seen at home in his kitchen, laughing with his partner. After he weighs in at ten stone eight pounds and eleven ounces, she says he might be able to have a drink - of water. He jokes: “One minute you want me to be a changed man and the next minute you’re saying go and have a drink. Maybe on the Thursday I could have a fish supper and then go out and have a drink.”
The camera is ringside at the Manchester Arena as Ricky walks on for what turns out to be his last fight. In the early stages he looks good until he’s caught by a jab, as his trainer Bob Shannon tells him between rounds: “Ricky. Don’t go rushing in. You listening? You got careless in that round – you got in some fantastic shots, then you went – going in. You weren’t thinking were you? Get back on track Rick. He’s all yours.”
But after the tide turns and Senchenko wins by knockout in round nine, Ricky makes the decision to retire, telling his entourage he’s unwilling to put his girlfriend or his body through the strain of a big fight again.
He concludes: “The problem with what happened last time was I spent two years, three years thinking, ‘Oh I’ve still got it, I can still come back – I’ve still got one more fight in me'.
“But I’m f-ing kidding myself again. I’m putting myself in the same f-ing mess I always did. Before the fight I wanted to know if I still had it left and I haven’t, and I don’t need to dwell. I’m happy.”
Ad Hoc’s previous work includes the Grierson Award-shortlisted documentary The Four Year Plan, which went behind the scenes at Queens Park Rangers.