By Michael Collins: Ricky Hatton’s first fight in his comeback will be against former WBA World welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenko on November 24th in Manchester, England. This fight is only the beginning for the 33-year-old Hatton, however, because he intends on going after the top world champions to pick up their titles if possible. WBA World welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi will likely be Hatton’s first stop after he beats #5 WBA Senchenko on November 24th.
Hatton said to the Dailystar.co.uk “To the fighters out there holding the wrold title belts, my message is that I am after you because I want to get right back to the top.”
Hatton has a good chance of beating Malignaggi depending on how well Hatton looks against Senchenko. However, Hatton might have big problems trying to beat WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley, IBF champ Randall Bailey and WBC champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. Those would be incredibly tough fights for even Hatton before he retired from boxing in 2009 following his 2nd round knockout loss to Manny Pacquiao.
It’s good to have ambition but Hatton needs to recognize that even in his prime he couldn’t beat Mayweather and Pacquiao, and he’s definitely not in his prime anymore. In those three years that Hatton has been away, he put on a lot of weight from overeating and living the good life. To his credit, Hatton has taken off the weight but he’s probably not going to be even close to where he was before he retired. Mayweather and Pacquiao have stayed active for the most part, and won’t have lost nearly as much as Hatton.
Hatton needs to not look past Senchenko towards other lofty goals because he might not be able to win this fight. Senchenko is very beatable as we saw in his loss to Malignaggi, but Hatton may not have enough left to beat him. I’m sure it must look easy from where he’s sitting to beat Senchenko, but Hatton might be in for a big surprise by how much he’s lost.
Boxing isn’t a sport where you can retire for three years and come back and resume your career right back where you were before you retired. It doesn’t go like that. Hatton has probably lost a great deal of his once impressive skills through inactivity during the last three years, and his comeback could be halted with his first fight against Senchenko.