by Johnny Walker
Confirming the worst kept secret in boxing, Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton announced during a press conference in Manchester, England, today that, pending medical clearance, he is returning to the ring.
Hatton, 33, was a light welterweight and welterweight champion whose only two losses came to the most celebrated fighters of the current era–Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao–and he says is back to take up where he left off.
“I’m not coming back to fight at four-round or six-round levels, I’m coming back for world titles,” Hatton said at the presser.
“But this is more than a comeback for me. It’s worth more than money and any amount of world titles.
“No wants their career to end in the way mine did. I want British boxing to be proud of me again.
“Everyone has their problems and I want my kids to be proud of me. I want them to say, ‘Dad had his problems but look at the way he bounced back’.”
Hatton’s life was in turmoil when he got caught on film snorting lines of cocaine with a groupie. He has famously had trouble controlling his appetites for food and booze–leading to his self-mocking nickname “Ricky Fatton”–but this human frailty has only endeared him to boxing fans as an everyman type of character.
Hatton, who now appears to be in excellent shape, admitted during the presser that his life had “turned to mush” following his knockout loss to Pacquiao in 2009.
“No one wants to end their career that way,” Hatton said. “It put me into retirement, which I never wanted to do. The manner of that defeat put me into some things which have been well documented.”
“The Hitman” says he intends to return on a card November 24 in his hometown of Manchester, against an opponent yet to be named.