Boxing: Ricky Hatton ready to take a hit as he makes highly-anticipated comeback
Wednesday 21 November 2012
Ricky Hatton will have no fears over his punch resistance when he makes his highly-anticipated comeback in Manchester this weekend.
Former two-weight world champion Hatton takes on once-beaten Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko in a 10-round welterweight contest on Saturday night, returning to the ring three-and-a-half years on from his last outing.
On that occasion, the 34-year-old fell victim to Manny Pacquiao's blurring fists inside two brutal rounds at Las Vegas' MGM Grand.
A shambolic build-up to the bout under the guidance of Floyd Mayweather Sr saw Hatton floored by sparring partners before the Filipino superstar chillingly rendered him unconscious.
Having overcome a raft of personal problems to launch his comeback, Hatton conceded to feeling apprehensive the first time he stepped through the ropes to spar in preparation from Senchenko.
"It was the biggest test really," he told Press Association Sport. "In my first spar I was nervous.
"I put my protector on, put my head guard on, took a deep breath and thought: 'Phew, I didn't think I'd be doing this again'.
"But the first time I got hit on the chin I wanted to knock him out, so that's a positive."
Relentless determination was a hallmark of Hatton's heyday and he believes tapping into the same qualities have been vital in pursuit of the 10st 7lbs welterweight limit, having come close to tipping the scales at 15 stone before a return to gym work over the summer.
"When I started my circuits and it started getting hard, doing my uphill sprints, it would have been dead easy for me to say 'I'd forgotten how hard this lot was, it's not for me', but I didn't," he said.
"Every time a wall's been put in front of me I've knocked it down.
"If it's going to be the comeback I think it's going to be, that's the way it had to be and that's the way it has been."
Over the past year Hatton has donned the trainers' mitts - star pupil Sergey Rabchenko makes the first defence of his European light-middleweight title on the Manchester Arena undercard - and his time in the corner has provided a fresh perspective that he hopes will help refine the rougher edges of a famously all-action fighting style.
Hatton added: "Day in, day out I train my fighters - jab first before you go in, move your head after the combination and stuff like that.
"I can't tell my fighters to do it if I don't do it myself.
"Because I come in the gym in the morning and work with my fighters, it sort of gets my mind racing for my workouts at teatime. I think it's going to help and make me a better fighter.
"I'm a little bit older and a little bit wiser now anyway but you see things from a coaching point of view a little bit differently and I've been able to add it to my own game."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United have two days to seal the transfer of the summer, Arsenal need to panic, Jose Mourinho right to blast Chelsea reluctance
Charlie Austin latest: Tottenham, Bournemouth and Newcastle among favourites to sign QPR striker
Anthony Martial transfer: Martial arts not in doubt but £36m is huge gamble by Manchester United
David De Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper's £29m move to Real Madrid off - because paperwork 'not done in time'
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal does not get the luxury of time that was given to his predecessors
- 2 David De Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper's £29m move to Real Madrid off - because paperwork 'not done in time'
- 3 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
- 4 A Chinese journalist has appeared on state television 'confessing' to causing the stock market chaos
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms
£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced Electrician require...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This UK based B2C multi-channel...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company has a fantastic opportunity for a...
£60000 - £150000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for...