Ricky Hatton admits he wishes he could ‘go back in a time machine’ to experience his famous night against Floyd Mayweather Jr in Las Vegas.
The Mancunain dared to be great and travelled to Sin City with an army of around 40,000 British fans who cheered his every move and gesture on the strip.
Although the welterweight clash did not go as planned for Hatton, the experience of challenging the best fighter on the planet and testing himself is one he will never forget.
He told BT Sport: “It was incredible and I wish I could go back in a time machine and just go in the bar and have a beer with the fans and walk down the strip and listen to all the songs.
“Everyone I speak to say it was the best weekend of their lives. And that’s not just one or two people.
“That’s…I’ve had hundreds of people say that to me so it must have been one hell of a weekend.
“When you see fans saying that to you, it can’t be such a bad thing – even though it ended in defeat. And he [Mayweather] will probably go down as the greatest of all time so you can’t have too much to complain about.”
Referee Joe Cortez spent large sections of the bout separating the action and stopping Hatton (an incredible body puncher) from working in his favoured inside position.
Having seen the likes of Jose Luis Castillo and Marcos Maidana rough ‘Money’ up on the inside, Hatton was convinced he had the skill set and the power to hurt his man – but was never given the opportunity.
“I did give him a good run for his money,” Hatton added. “I feel a little bit cheated to be honest with you, because I felt that I wasn’t going to outbox him and I wasn’t going to out-speed him.
“But if I was allowed to get close I would definitely throw more punches than him. But I never got the opportunity and that’s the thing that will always eat away at me – the referee never gave me the opportunity.
“The one person that was allowed to get stuck in and bully him and was allowed to fight close was Marcos Maidana and he pushed him really close.
“Castillo was allowed to get close and a lot of people thought Castillo won! So I smelt a rat that night with the referee and I don’t think I was given a fair crack of the whip.”
Despite the infringements by Cortez and the decision, Hatton can hold his held high.
The legendary Emmanuel Steward had the bout level going through the first half of the contest and the Brit certainly established himself as a legend outside of the ring.
In fact, Hatton revealed how he was even able to get underneath Mayweather’s skin before the bout during a hilarious encounter in a Vegas restaurant.
“The one thing that sticks out is we did the 24/7 World Tour and we went to Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Michigan which was Floyd’s home town and obviously Manchester.
“And I remember me, Kerry Kayes, Billy Graham, my dad, and Paul Speak were all sat in this restaurant and Floyd came in with a load of cameras as we were sat down having a meal.
“And he was going ‘Hey Ricky, how are you doing?’ and he was flicking $100 bills all over this table and all the press were lapping it up and taking pictures.
“I went ‘Oh that’s very kind of you Floyd’ and I picked up all these hundred dollar bills and said ‘How much was the bill mate?’
“They said $300 and I went ‘cheers d******’ and put about $800 in my top pocket! And all the press took pictures laughing their heads off and Floyd did not like it.
“So for all his mouth he will never get one over on me the d******.”