Home comforts for Hatton
'The Hitman' to fight at MEN in first bout since Pacquiao loss
Last Updated: September 14, 2012 10:08pm
Ricky Hatton has confirmed he will make his return to the ring on November 24 at the Manchester Arena against an as yet unnamed opponent.
'The Hitman' has not fought since his second-round defeat to Manny Pacquiao in May 2009 and he officially announced his retirement in July 2011.
Since then the 33-year-old - a former WBA and IBF light-welterweight and WBA welterweight champion - has continued to be involved in the sport, firstly through his promotions company and then as a trainer.
However the lure of putting the gloves on again has proved too great for Hatton, who has a 45-2 record as a professional, his only defeats coming at the hands of legendary duo Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, to resist.
"I'm not coming back to fight at four-round or six-round level. I'm coming back to fight for world titles."
Ricky Hatton Quotes of the week
"It's great to be back," he said at a press conference
"The first thing I can start with is answering the questions a lot of people are asking as to why have I come back.
"There are a number of reasons. A lot of people have said, 'what are you doing it for Ricky? What do you need to do? You got beaten by two of the best pound-for-pound fighters of your generation - don't risk your legacy, we don't what to see you get hurt'.
"That's very nice for fans and friends to be worried about me from that point of view.
"But it's been well documented what has happened to me since the last time everyone saw me in a boxing ring. It was a two-round demolition against Manny Pacquiao, and nobody wants to end their career in that way.
"It consequently put me into retirement, which I never really wanted to do.
"It's been well documented what's happened to me personally over the past three years because of the manner of that last defeat. Basically, my life turned to mush.
"I've gone into the promoting, which I love and has done well for me, but it didn't exactly fill the void.
"I decided to take a trainers' licence out and I was in the gym every day of the week passing on my knowledge and what I've learned in the game to my fighters. I think that started the fire burning, working with the lads."
Hatton was adamant that his decision was not based on money, simply a desire to "put things to bed" after the manner of his defeat to Pacquiao.
"I'm not coming back to fight at four-round or six-round level. I'm coming back to fight for world titles," he continued. "But this comeback is worth more than any money, winning any amount of world titles.
"People don't know what has been going on in between my ears. There are a lot of things I've got to put to bed.
"I want British boxing to be proud of me again. I want my kids to look at me and say 'that's my dad there'.
"Ricky Hatton is redeeming himself."
Many names have been suggested so far as possible foes for Hatton on his return - an all-British clash with Amir Khan would certainly be a money-spinner, particularly as a defeat would seem to leave either man's career in limbo, while long-time rival Junior Witter is another domestic option.
Current WBA Welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi - a fighter Hatton has already beaten - has been rumoured as a potential opponent, too.
The former two-weight world champion has already been told he'll be granted a new boxing licence, subject to passing a medical, after meeting with the British Boxing Board of Control on Wednesday.