British boxing sensation Ricky Hatton will return to the ring after more than three years on Saturday, Nov. 22 when he takes on Vyacheslav Senchenko of Ukraine at the MEN Arena in Manchester, England in a 10-round welterweight contest.
Hatton retired from boxing back in 2009 after he was brutally knocked by Filipino great Manny Pacquiao in the second round. Hatton was also knocked out earlier by undefeated Floyd Mayweather in another big-money fight. These have been the only losses of the Hitman’s career.
Hatton had a rough time of it after retiring, as he endured family problems and became dependent on alcohol and drugs. He said he was suicidal at this period in his life as a deep depression set in. He ended up in rehab and tried to free himself of his demons. Hatton then started working out again and decided to continue his boxing career as he didn’t want it to end on such a sour note.
Senchenko is a former WBA world welterweight champion, so Hatton’s definitely not taking the easy route here in his comeback bout. Senchenko has lost just once in his career, which was earlier this year when American Paulie Malignaggi took his title away from him after their bout was stopped in the ninth round due to a cut suffered by Senchenko.
Malignaggi is now the WBA belt holder and also a former opponent of Hatton. However, he didn’t fare too well against Hatton as the Briton stopped him in the 11th round. It’s believed if Hatton manages to get past Senchenko he’s got a title shot lined up with Malignaggi already.
Hatton could also face fellow Englishmen Kell Brook and Amir Khans, which would be huge money-making bouts back in Britain. He has to get by the difficult Senchenko first though and it might not be that easy for him to do.
Hatton may enter the fight in excellent physical shape, but his mental state might not be at 100 per cent. He’ll have to deal with the inevitable ring rust as well as keep his emotions in check in front of his hometown fans.
Malignaggi proved that Senchenko can be outboxed, but boxing’s not really Hatton’s game. The Englishman is more of a slugger than a boxer and is prone to get goaded into brawls. This is great for the fans, but as Pacquiao and Mayweather proved, Hatton’s chin isn’t exactly made out of granite.
But even though Hatton found himself stopped and on the canvas against those two greats, he put up a good performance in both fights. If Senchenko doesn’t have the power to keep Hatton off of him, he’ll be in for a long night. His best bet will be to try and outbox Hatton and see how he does.
The 34-year-old Hatton, who is a former world welterweight and junior welterweight champion, will enter the ring with a record of 45-2 with 32 Kos. He turned pro back in 1997 and has faced some of the best boxers of his era.
He has experience and he may need it on Saturday. Senchenko’s record is 32-1 with 21 Kos and he has close to a five-inch reach and three-inch height advantage on Hatton. Senchenko turned pro back in 2002, but hasn’t faced the same class of opposition that Hatton has.
It’s always a tough call every time a boxer makes a comeback and it’s even harder with Hatton due to his personal problems. If he has the same energy and determination that he possessed before retiring he should be able to pull this one out of the hat with a late stoppage or unanimous decision.