Boxing: Hatton close to comeback decision

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The Independent Online

Britain's Ricky Hatton is close to making a final decision on whether he will make a comeback to professional boxing.

The 31-year-old, who is currently in Australia on a promotional tour, said he was serious about a comeback but needed more time before committing himself.

"I'm going to have a good think about it over Christmas and the New Year," he told reporters on Thursday. "But I'm starting to get the itch."

Hatton, a former welterweight and light welterweight world champion, retired after he was knocked out in the second round by Filipino Manny Pacquiao in May this year.

The Englishman said he was still unhappy at the way he lost that fight and has been hinting for months at a one-off return in the hope of finishing his career on a brighter note.

"The manner in which I ended my defeat is not really the way I would like to bow out," he said.

"I'd like to bow out ... in an absolute war of a fight, a wonderful fight with great sportsmanship."

Hatton said his comeback would depend on the quality of opposition but his preference was for Oscar De La Hoya or Juan Manuel Marquez.

"Those two would be on my hitlist," he said.