Hatton to return to ring in November
Ricky Hatton will return to the boxing ring in November after the former world welterweight and light-welterweight champion confirmed he was coming out of retirement on Friday.
The Manchester-based fighter, who quit the sport after a devastating two-round knockout at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in May 2009, will fight a so far un-named opponent in his home city’s MEN Arena in November.
“I got beaten by the best two pound-for-pound fighters of their generation,” Hatton told a news conference. “It was a two-round demolition against Manny Pacquiao and nobody wants to end their career like that.”
Hatton, whose best performance came in 2005 when he stopped Australia’s Kostya Tszyu to add the IBF light-welterweight title to the WBU belt he already owned, had a perfect 43-0 career record until he was floored by Floyd Mayweather Jr in Las Vegas in 2007 and he was never really the same again.
Unconvincing victories followed against Juan Lazcano and Paulie Malignaggi but he was outclassed by Pacquiao and after a long period of inactivity he retired in July last year.
Hatton, who would often put on large amounts of weight in between fights and made no secret of his liking for a few pints of beer, checked into a rehabilitation centre in London in 2010 after being photographed apparently snorting cocaine.
“It’s well documented what’s happened to me, my life turned to mush,” Hatton said.
“I feel I’ve put a bit back into the game but it didn’t fill the void. I got my trainer’s licence and started working in the ring and that started the fires burning and I started looking after myself a bit better and getting fitter.
“I’m back to fight for world titles. It’s more than a comeback. It’s worth more than money. A lot of people have said they don’t want me to tarnish the legacy but they don’t know what goes on between my ears.”
Hatton’s all-action, “guts-and-glory” style endeared him to fans who travelled in their thousands to watch him take on Mayweather. The 33-year-old won 45 of his 47 fights.