Farewell Hitman, hello Quigg
Derek Bilton delivers his verdict on the British pound-for-pound scene.
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While one British boxing legend was bidding the game an emotional farewell for the second time at the weekend, another pale-skinned body puncher hailing from the North West was showing everyone that he truly belongs on the world stage.
Ricky Hatton rolled the dice by coming back against Vyacheslav Senchenko but unfortunately the gamble wasn't landed.
Hatton won the first couple of rounds but years of wild living and a three-year ring hiatus proved his undoing as Senchenko stopped him in the penultimate round of their non-title fight at the MEN Arena.
'The Hitman' was typically forthright in the aftermath, holding back the tears as he said "A fighter knows when it's not there any more, and it's not there. I'm not going to put myself through that torture again, and I'm not going to put my family through it."
For years Hatton wowed audiences around the world and I am not sure a fighter from these shores will take over 20000 fans across the Atlantic with him to box again, certainly in my lifetime.
Yet after an optimistic early flurry, it was clear Hatton was whistling in the dark. His timing was off and those chopping shots that used to cut opponents down to size no longer had the meat on them they once did.
Brave to the end, Hatton was ironically felled by a body shot, the same shot he had used to overwhelm the majority of his opponents in what will surely prove a first ballot Hall of Fame career.
Yet while Hatton was bidding an emotional farewell, Scott Quigg was proving he is the real deal on the MEN undercard.
The unbeaten Quigg was trying to claim domestic bragging rights at super-bantamweight when he met Rendall '2Tone' Munroe, and Quigg showed just what he was all about as he bossed proceedings against Munroe before finishing him off impressively in round six.
Quigg picked up the WBA interim title for his troubles, and I certainly wouldn't bet against him winning a full world title within the next 18 months.
If he is to claim top billing in the UK he will need to beat Carl Frampton, and that fight would be a sensation if it could be made in 2013.
Elsewhere on the British beat Nathan Cleverly defended his WBO light-heavyweight title in America recently, but his stoppage win against a very average Shawn Hawk didn't tell us much about his long-term potential.
Cleverly impressed Freddie Roach in the gym ahead of his bout at the Staples Center in LA, and don't rule out the intelligent and ambitious Welshman moving across to America to maximise his potential at Roach's Wildcard Gym.
Finally, Carl Froch cemented his status at the top of the domestic 'pound-for-pound' pile as he crushed Yusef Mack the other week.
Froch looked nailed on for the win against a fighter who had not made the super-middleweight limit for over five years, but nevertheless the manner of his third-round stoppage was impressive.
Froch has options next year. He could go in against against Lucien Bute in Canada or move his sights towards potentially huge rematches with Mikkel Kessler or Andre Ward.
'The Cobra' is 35 now, and next year might well be his last at the top level, but it seems if this is the case the Nottingham throwback is determined to go out in a blaze of glory.
Sportinglife.com pound-for-pound British top 10:
1 Carl Froch
2 David Haye
3 Kell Brook
4 Amir Khan
5 Ricky Burns
6 Nathan Cleverly
7 David Price
8 Scott Quigg
9 Matthew Macklin
10 Tyson Fury
Honourable mentions: Gavin Rees, Carl Frampton, George Groves, Martin Murray and Tony Bellew.