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Ricky Hatton to make ring return in 2010


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Manchester's former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton has confirmed he will return to the ring in 2010.

"I'm going to have one more fight, maybe two - it depends on the first fight," said Hatton.

"No opponent has been confirmed... there's been no date confirmed. But... I am going to have one more fight."

In his last fight last May, the 31-year-old Hatton was knocked out in the second round in Las Vegas by Filipino great Manny Pacquiao.

Mexican three-weight world champion Juan Manuel Marquez, the current WBA lightweight champion, has been mentioned as a possible foe, as has IBF light-welterweight champion Juan Urango, who Hatton outpointed in 2007.

Hatton's only other defeat in a 47-fight career was to Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2007, but the severity of his defeat by Pacquiao led many to urge him to retire.

But Hatton never officially hung up his gloves, and it was announced last November that negotiations had already begun between his camp and Golden Boy Promotions, who handle the 36-year-old Marquez.

"If Ricky does carry on it would be an ideal fight for him to take on Marquez," said Gareth Williams, Hatton's lawyer and promotional partner.

Richard Schaefer, head of Golden Boy, said: "Juan Manuel accepted the challenge and would love to come to Manchester."

Marquez lost his last outing to the returning Mayweather Jr in September, finding himself outclassed and outpointed over 12 rounds.

However, that was only his fifth defeat in 56 fights, while he has also fought Pacquiao twice, drawing the first encounter in 2004 before losing on a controversial split decision in 2008.

Marquez has held world titles at featherweight, super-featherweight and lightweight, and a fight against Hatton would almost certainly take place at light-welterweight, Hatton's natural division.

Hatton will head to Australia for a holiday next week and plans to start getting in shape immediately on his return.

"I go on holiday next week with my girlfriend to Australia and then when I come back, even though I haven't got a date yet, I'm going to go straight into training because weight-wise I have had a little bit more to carry than I normally do," he said.

"So I'm going to go straight in training, shed the weight and then, when the date comes, do my usually 12-week training camp.

"We're looking at the IBF champion Juan Urango, who I've already fought and beaten. It's got to be a top-10 ranked pound-for-pound fighter or a world champion of some sort.

"I've boxed at such a high level and I could not have one more fight and people look at me and go 'he's just had this fight just to knock someone over and end on top'. I want people to say 'give Ricky his credit - he finished at the top'.

"You can see I've set the wheels in motion for retirement - I've got my promotional company now, got my health and fitness, got my clothing brand.

"I'm not going to have too many more fights. At the minute I'm definitely just going to have one more."

BBC

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I really think that Ricky Hattons time has passed and that he should focus on his family and other possible careers. He was a great fighter but he has suffered some losses and I don't believe he can come back from this, he is slow to adapt his style and his opponents all know how he reverts back to his old ways when they push him to far which makes him predictable and vulnerable. It pains me to say that as I have paid to watch him fight on a number of occasions.

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