By James Slater: The rumours regarding a Ricky Hatton return to the ring refuse to go away. For weeks now, we’ve heard about the 33-year-old’s drastic loss in weight, we’ve also heard former Hatton foe and reigning WBA welterweight king Paulie Malignaggi offer his former conqueror a rematch. Clearly, there is something to the rumours and, in a news article by The Manchester Evening News (THE place for any news Hatton related), there is talk of a date – well, nearly.
According to the news piece, Hatton has discussed coming back with close friends and he was thought to have been set to make a public announcement last week. Obviously that didn’t happen, but the word now in the Manchester boxing community is that “a fight has already been lined up for the Manchester Arena in October or November.”
Again, nothing is in any way official yet, but this is the closest we’ve been to having anything solid regarding a Hatton comeback. If the former 140-pound king does return in October or November, it won’t be against Malignaggi; who faces Pablo Cesar Cano on October 20th in his native Brooklyn. It might be that Hatton, being smart, will look to have at least one tune-up bout before going in with a star name – even one he has already beaten by stoppage.
But whoever Hatton fights (if he indeed does return), the event will be massive and the Manchester Arena will sell-out in double-quick time. Hatton’s millions of loyal fans will see to that. And then, if the return goes well, who knows – maybe “The Hitman” will travel overseas in search of a glory-filled world title challenge?
It remains to be seen, of course, if Hatton can make 147, let alone his peak 140. But judging by recent photos, the Mancunian legend has dropped somewhere in the region of fifty-pounds of the bulk he was carrying around when at his heaviest.
Hatton will hopefully break his silence, one way or the other, soon. But there is no doubt about it: a Ricky Hatton comeback would generate big, big news, along with big, big revenue.
Hatton last boxed in May of 2009, when he was brutally KO’d in the 2nd-round by superstar and Pound-for-Pound king Manny Pacquiao. It’s no secret amongst his fans that that loss has haunted Ricky ever since and, as the old saying goes: he don’t wanna go out like that. Maybe Hatton’s real motivation for returning is to give his fans a far better final image of him in the ring.