Ricky Hatton produced a devastating knock-out blow on Jason Rowland to defend his WBU light-welterweight title at the Manchester Velodrome.

He claimed the belt four months earlier and produced a slick display against the veteran to secure a 24th straight win.

After Hatton had caught Rowland under his right eye in the third, the end appeared close and it arrived in round four.

The Manchester boxer sent his opponent crashing to the canvas midway through the fourth after three powerful hits before a follow-up punch to the body left the Londoner down and out.

Four years later ‘The Hitman’ reached the pinnacle of his career with victory over Kostya Tszyu – when he had been the underdog – to claim the IBF, Ring and lineal titles.

Hatton would not lose until his 44th fight when Floyd Mayweather got the better of him in a spectacular welterweight contest at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in December 2007.

A return to the same venue 18 months later did not prove fruitful with Manny Pacquiao this time beating Hatton and he retired once and for all three year later, but remains arguably Britain’s best ever light-welterweight boxer.


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