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Tuesday, 5 May 2009

image for Ricky Hatton talks of "Happy Slapping" abuse since returning to Manchester

In an emotional interview, the boxer Ricky Hatton has described the turmoil and abuse that he has faced since returning to his family home in Manchester after losing the fight to Manny Pacquiao.

"Ever since I developed this glass jaw in Vegas, I've had a bit of a nightmare" a tearful Hatton described. "I have just been trying to get back into my normal routine but all the local kids want to have a go and try and knock me out nowadays".

The act known as "Happy Slapping", or "Hatton Slapping" as locals are now referring to it, has become an extremely popular local pastime since the boxer returned to the UK. Essentially it sees local people trying to knock Hatton out by slapping him in a surprise "slap attack".

"I have had people come up to me in the newsagent, when I'm just buying the Sun, ask me for an autograph and next thing WHAM, I wake up ten minutes later on the floor."

Hatton's father, Ray, described what life has been like - "It you ask me the whole thing has got out of control. He used to be a hero around here, now you have got people taking it in turns to knock him out in the chippy. It took him three and a half hours to get a fish dinner last night; he spent most of the time unconscious on the floor."

Youtube has been flooded with different examples of "Hatton Slapping" recorded by children on their mobile phones.

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