Former lineal light welterweight world champion Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton (45-2, 30 KO’s) announced today that he is to end a three year absence from the sport by coming out of retirement to pursue a final crack at a world title.
Understandably media buzz and speculation has been rife recently over a possible comeback, dates and opponents for the four-time champion of the world.
The Manchester fighter finally held a press conference today at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester to lift the lid on the details of the current “worst kept secret in boxing”.
Hatton Promotions Matchmaker and media guru Richard Poxon sitting alongside Hatton, confirmed the date of the scheduled comeback will be November 24th at the MEN Arena Manchester, England; while frustratingly for many fans an opponent has yet to be revealed.
However, this hasn’t stopped thousands of fans already purchasing tickets for the show “Pride in Battle” with many desperate to see the return of Britain’s most popular ever fighter.
A media swarm of possibilities now circulate the event, with varying names and suggestions of fighters who may face the Hyde man in his home arena. Hatton himself left little in doubt over his intentions for the comeback stating, “I don’t want to be fighting at four or six round levels – I want to fight for world titles.”
With a recent tirade of twitter interest surrounding a future matchup with once conquered opponent WBA welterweight champion Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi (31-4, 7 KO’s), the two division champion of the world would have to ensure his first fight back from retirement is to defeat a ranked opponent inside the WBA top fifteen.
Malignaggi is due to defend his title against little known WBA #11 Pablo Cesar Cano (25-1, 19 KO’s) in a voluntary defence at the newly constructed Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York.
If he successfully defends his title, a mandatory defence would follow for the self professed “Twitter King” and would need to be against a ranked opponent within his organizations top 15.
Reports of possible opponents for Ricky “Hitman” Hatton are being mentioned with varying degrees of reality but below shows potential foes which may be considered to oppose him in his homecoming bow.
1. Diego Chaves (WBA Interim Champion) (21-0, 17KO’s)
Currently ranked #1 contender by the WBA at welterweight; this option seems far less than feasible. Chaves is unbeaten and is in prime contention for a near shot at the title. This move would be disastarous for the 26 year old if he were to lose especially in the home town of a rival.
Likely to happen? 2/10
2. Thomas Dulorme (16-0, 12KO’s)
Currently ranked at #4 by the WBA, #1 by the WBC and #13 by the WBO, Dulorme is a relatively inexperienced fighter with only DeMarcus Corley on his record of victories. Big money may tempt the 22 year old over to the UK but this again is unlikely to happen with Hatton potentially being such a big risk in the progress of his future career. Time to rebuild from a defeat but a knockout would be devastating to a potential star.
Likely to happen? 6/10
3. Vyacheslav Senchenko (32-1, 21KO’s)
Senchenko is currently ranked #5 by the WBA and is the former champion at 147lbs. After a punishing night against current champion Malignaggi in the Ukraine, the 35 year old needs to be desperate to resurrect his career after such a devastating loss in front of a home crowd. Slightly the same situation as the Hitman himself and potentially could be a very well matched opponent for the Mancunians return.
Likely to happen? 8/10
4. Marcos Maidana (31-3, 28KO’s)
“El Chino” is currently ranked at #6 by the WBA after recently relinquishing his “Regular” WBA 140lbs belt and moving up to 147lbs. Maidana has a fight this weekend against Jesus Soto Karass and should the Argentine come through that test he may be considered a potential opponent for Hatton. Maidana struggled in his first outing at 147lbs against Devon Alexander and has already been beaten at 140lbs by Britain’s Amir Khan. With Hatton looking to prove himself still at elite level after his absence and Maidana willing to travel in order to earn $$$’s, this would be a matchup I wouldn’t dismiss too quickly.
Likely to happen? 5/10
5. Ed Paredes (31-3, 21 KO’s)
With victories over “Vicious” Vivian Harris and Carlos Molina, Paredes is deservedly ranked at #7 by the WBA, #4 by the WBC, #14 by the IBF and #14 by the WBO. With the right financial package, the Lawrence, Massachusetts native may be persuaded to travel to the UK to fight to attempt to extend a winning streak which has weathered three years with his last defeat dating back to April 2009. This would be an extremely good fight for Hatton, gaining a ranking in all four recognized sanctioning bodies if he were to win.
Likely to happen? 9/10
Of course this is all speculation. We will find the truth in the coming weeks and days. Boxing fans around the world, wait in excitement.