Ricky Hatton is ready for his return, his former trainer Bobby Rimmer told Ringside
Last Updated: 30/11/12 10:06am
Can Hatton turn back the clock?
Ricky Hatton's former assistant trainer Bobby Rimmer expects the Hitman to put on a 'great show' against Vyacheslav Senchenko on Saturday night.
The former two-weight world champion will end a three-and-a-half year absence from the sport at the Manchester Arena when he steps into the ring with 35-year-old Ukrainian Senchenko.
There are concerns Hatton - who has not fought since his devastating defeat to Manny Pacquiao in 2009 - will not be fight-fit after such a long spell out, but Rimmer has no doubts his former charge will ready to return to the ring following a punishing training camp with trainer Bobby Shannon.
"The rumours are that everything's gone great under Bob Shannon," Rimmer told Ringside.
"Ricky's known Bob for a while. Bob's been working with his brother Matthew and they've shared the same gym, so they're very comfortable together.
"After three years to come back and try to do a fight at pace is tough but Hatton is very experienced at the top level and I'm sure he'll do ok."
"Even though people talk about the way Hatton lived outside the ring during his career when he went into training he went into training; he never went out, he did everything right - and he'd have done that this time as well.
"It's a longer training camp this time so he'd have whipped himself into great shape. I think he's going to put on a great show for us."
Rimmer also believes Hatton's return to boxing is good for his health and says the fighter is much happier after his return to training.
"I've always said the same thing from when he decided to make a comeback: 'this is good for Ricky'," said Rimmer.
"Whether it works or not, Ricky Hatton is now looking after himself; he's training, he's fit, he's a proper family man, he's doing everything he wants to do and he's doing it all for himself. That's good for him.
"It's great he's looking after himself and people are talking about him for the right things, not the wrong things.
"There was a spell when we weren't talking as our paths didn't cross but when I heard he was getting back into training I went round to see him in the gym and it was the old Ricky Hatton; the laughable rogue, the kid who wants to make you welcome, the kid with the massive heart.
"I hadn't seen that for a long time so that was great for me."
In terms of Hatton's tactics on Saturday night, Spencer Oliver reckons the popular pugilist will stick to the approach which served him so well during his career: aggressive, attacking boxing.
"You can't teach an old dog new tricks so I think Hatton will stick to what he knows best," said the former European champion.
"I've been speaking to Bob Shannon on a daily basis, getting an update on Ricky and how he's getting on. He told me they're working on angles, slipping, sliding and looking to apply the pressure and break Senchenko down.
"They're not looking to introduce anything new; they're looking to find the Ricky of old - the Ricky that boxed Kostya Tszyu. They feel speed of hand and speed of foot could be the key factors against Senchenko, who is quite flat-footed and likes to work behind the jab and the single straight crosses."
However, super-middleweight world champion Carl Froch said on the show Hatton will have to be back to his best fitness-wise to execute his gameplan successfully.
"His fighting style depends on fitness," said Froch. "The way in which he fights is quite brutal, coming forward, so he needs to be super fit and strong.
"My main concern is after three years out what sort of shape he's in physically and mentally. After three years to come back and try to do a fight at pace is tough - it's a tough sport. But he is very experienced at the top level and I'm sure he'll do ok."