By Chris Cella
Love him or hate him, when Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton steps into the squared circle, boxing fans around the world are on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the two-time world champion putting on a show.
On November 24 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, Hatton (45-2, 32 KO) will come out of a three plus-year retirement to go to battle against former WBA world welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenko (35-1, 21 KO) in a 10-round bout.
Over the course of his illustrious career, Hatton has fought wars within the ring, exchanging leather with some of the best in the game, and suffered defeat only twice at the hands of two future hall of famers, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Since retiring from the sport, it was reported that Hatton fought battles of his own, including depression, drugs and booze, suicidal thoughts and fluctuation in his weight, but the former junior welterweight and welterweight champion of the world is anxious to get back into action and show the world that he has another title run in him.
“People ask if I should come back, will I win, can I be world champ again,” said Hatton.
“They don’t get it. I’ve already won. I’m here. I saved myself. The end of the ‘Ricky Hatton Story’ was not being knocked out by Pacquiao. I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring and showing what I can do. I want to get back in the title mix, but you can’t do that by taking easy fights. That’s why I’m taking on this guy.”
Senchenko fought 31 times before losing his first fight, where he was stopped by Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi in the ninth round this past April. This is only the third time Senchenko will be fighting outside of the Ukraine, and only his third time fighting in the three years since Hatton announced retirement.
Hatton knows what he has to do to win this fight; he needs to pick up where he left off, using his speed and power to keep opponents off their game. Senchenko was unable to go the distance with Malignaggi, who possesses one of the lowest threats of a knockout in the division, so if he attempts to stand and bang with Hatton it may be an early night.
Ricky Hatton could’ve eased his way back into the elite boxing scene, but chose to fight an opponent who poses a legitimate threat. Hatton certainly has a test ahead of him when the bell rings on November 24. Undoubtedly, Senchenko will be looking to jump on the inactive fighter early on to see what kind of ring rust is carried over into the fight. A win for either fighter can mean a rematch against current WBA world welterweight champion Malignaggi in 2013.
The scheduled 10-round welterweight fight will be a special, afternoon edition of Showtime Championship Boxing followed by a replay that night on Showtime Extreme.