Ricky Hatton comeback set for approval by boxing officials

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport
Ricky Hatton
Ricky Hatton

Former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton's comeback has moved closer after he appeared before boxing officials to ask for his licence back.

Hatton, 33, attended a British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) meeting in Cardiff on Wednesday and is set to hold a news conference on Friday.

General secretary Robert Smith told BBC Sport: "His licence will be granted pending the completion of medicals.

"He spoke well, looks fit and he wants to have one more hurrah."

Hatton, nicknamed 'The Hitman', has not fought since suffering a second-round knockout by Manny Pacquiao in May 2009.

The Manchester-based former light-welterweight and welterweight champion formally retired last year with a record of 45 wins and two defeats and now runs his own promotions company.

In 2010, Hatton was stripped of his licence to box by the BBBoC after allegations of cocaine usage.

"He looks very well, everything seems to be in order and he's sorted himself out," Smith said.

"From what he was saying, he seems very settled with his family. He has already had some of the medicals and we are making sure he's on track."

Hatton dominated the light-welterweight division and his most notable win at that weight came against IBF champion Kostya Tszyu in 2005.

The following year, Hatton defeated Puerto Rican Luis Collazo to take the WBA world welterweight title and followed that victory by beating Juan Urango to reclaim his IBF light-welterweight title.

He lost to American five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather in 2007 and suffered a comprehensive beating by Pacquiao in his final fight three years ago.

Hatton, who frequently ballooned in weight between bouts, has lost three stone this year and is tipped to return to action with a fight in November.

He stopped Paulie Malignaggi in 11 rounds in his penultimate fight in 2008, since when the American has become the WBA welterweight champion.

Hatton's former promoter Frank Warren believes the comeback is a mistake.

"I believe he's had a good career and he should reflect on that," said Warren.

"No-one should be encouraging him to return and I just hope it doesn't wind up being a big disappointment for him."

But former world champion Barry McGuigan has told the BBC that Hatton can win a world title again.

"There's every chance we'll see 90% of the Ricky Hatton we saw a few years back and that will be good enough to beat someone like Paulie Malignaggi," McGuigan said.


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