Let’s get ready to rumble.
After over three years out of the ring, Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton has announced that he is coming out of retirement and returning to the ring.
Hatton has achieved enough in his career to be legitimately referred to as a legend of the sport, having reached the top of the sport and fighting the very best. His brash in-fighting style showcased his immense bravery and solid chin, and his devastating ability to stop a fight has been shown with his 32 KO’s in 45 victories. Hatton’s undefeated record was ended by Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather in 2007 – and suffered his second loss to Manny Pacquiao just two years later. Since his retirement following that loss, Hatton has battled hard against his personal demons, with depression and alcoholism and a much publicised drug problem putting off a previous planned return to the ring.
Hatton re-emerged earlier this year in a condition that the boxing world hasn’t been used to seeing him in until the morning of a fight – sparking the initial rumours of his comeback. Since the announcement of his comeback there was vast speculation that Hatton would take a few easy fights and attempt to get himself one last payday for Hatton Promotions after Sky Sports backtracked on their initial interest. These suggestions however were quashed when Hatton announced who he had chosen to be his opponent on November 24th – Vyacheslav Senchenko. Senchenko is a top fighter who, at 35, suffered his first professional defeat at the hands of Paul Malignaggi – a boxer who Hatton destroyed in his prime – and dropped his WBA Welterweight title in the process, interestingly a title he won just a few weeks before Hatton’s loss to Pacquiao. Known as an extremely technical boxer, ‘The Ukranian Master’ was outclassed at the hands of Malignaggi and will be looking to use Hatton as his way of showing that he isn’t finished. The selection of Senchenko as his opponent sent a real signal of intent to the boxing world – the Ricky Hatton comeback is no publicity stunt. This was cemented on a TV interview with BBC News, in which he called a potential fight with Amir Khan an inevitability, and signalled his intentions to fight his way back to the very top in order to ensure that the Ricky Hatton we remember is not one of drug problems and depression, nor one lying on his back at the hands of Pacquiao or Mayweather – but the Ricky Hatton we should remember, a Champion.
So regardless of the outcome, Ricky has in many ways already won his fight. Simply by getting back to the condition physically, and more important mentally to enter a ring again, Ricky has proven to the world that ‘The Hitman’ has knocked out his demons, and is ready to write the next chapter in his already remarkable life. Good luck, Ricky.