By Clive Bernath: If the Rumours are true then former two weight world champion Ricky Hatton is set to fight again in the summer and his main target is current WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi. Nothing is official but I’m hearing the 33 year-old has been training hard with the view of lacing up the gloves once again.
Hatton, one of Britain’s most popular boxers over the last 20 years, has not fought since being ferociously knocked out by Manny Pacquiao inside two one sided rounds back in May2008. Since retiring the Manchester favorite has hit rock bottom suffering depression and admitting to drink and drug problems in a News Of The World interview in September, 2010.
To his credit, Ricky has fought back and built up a business empire that includes a state of the art gym in Manchester, a boxing promotional company and his own boxing tv channel. However, for all his successes both inside and out the ring it appears the popular ex champ wants one last opportunity to end his career as a winner and lay any demons he may have, finally to rest.
Reports online suggest that Hatton wants to rematch WBA 147lbs champ Malignaggi. Ricky stopped the tough New Yorker in the 11th round back in November 8, but with Hatton being out of the ring for so long and Malignaggi arguably in the best form of his career it would be wise to engage a couple of low key warm fights first.
If Hatton can reproduce the form of past glories it would be a huge boost for British boxing and the sport in general. After everything the Manchester showman has been through this past few years it is indeed a big ask. If Ricky can regain his past form, fine but if it becomes apparent his punch resistance and reflexes have abandoned him then I hope those closest to him let him know in no uncertain terms returning to the ring is not an option.
July 10, 2012