Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Ricky Hatton announces boxing comeback

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SETEMBER 14: Boxer Ricky Hatton poses for a photograph after a press conference at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel on September 14, 2012 in Manchester, England. Hatton today confirmed that he is to resume boxing after being in retirement for three years. (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)

Ricky Hatton today confirmed he is coming out of retirement.

The former two-weight world champion, who turns 34 next month and last fought three years ago, announced he is relaunching his career at a press conference in Manchester this morning.

He will return to the ring on November 24, with a fight at the Manchester Arena against an as yet unnamed opponent.

Hatton's last bout was a brutal second-round knockout by Manny Pacquiao in May 2009 and he has since overcome drug and alcohol problems.

He established his own promotions company which ran into problems in May when he lost his television deal with Sky.

The 33-year-old said today: "Why am I coming back? It's been well documented what's happened to me since the last time I've been in a boxing ring.

"I've started looking after myself a bit better and getting fitter and that's how it started. I don't want to be fighting at four or six-round levels - I want to fight for world titles.

"It's about more than money, this comeback. People say nice things about me but they don't know what's been going on in between my ears."

Talking about the manner of the defeat against Pacquiao, Hatton explained: "I didn't want my career to end that way.

"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...my life turned to mush.

"I got back into promoting which I loved - but it didn't quite fill the void.

"I got a huge buzz getting opportunities for my fighters and I was in the gym every day of the week passing on the knowledge - but it didn't fill the gap."

British Boxing Board of Control general secretary Robert Smith yesterday revealed Hatton would be granted a new licence upon completion of a medical.