By Ed Hoyle: For the first time tonight since his brutal TKO loss at the hands of Manny Pacquaio, Ricky Hatton will be once again gracing the boxing ring. Since Hatton’s temporary retirement, other British stars have been gradually edging their way towards potential stardom; most notably, the undefeated Kell Brook and David Price. Scottish star, Ricky Burns has practically sealed his legacy, coming off an impressive TKO of England’s crafty Kevin Mitchell earlier this year.
However, there’s no denying the sport has been missing the Mancunian’s infectious charisma and entertaining style. The void that was left, when Hatton retired with a whimper has finally been refilled and after Friday’s weigh in, there’s curious optimism amongst the boxing public that he’s back for real. Indeed, Ricky looked in sensational condition at Friday’s weigh in, no doubt a by-product of his new training regime coupled with a healthier living style; a complete contrast of his previous self-image of ballooning up between fights and then swiftly losing it again.
Unfortunately there are some things that healthy living can’t change – namely, a poor a chin. Ever since his crushing defeat at the hands of the exceptionally gifted Floyd Mayweather in 2009, Hatton’s chin seemed to have abandoned him. Rocked by Juan Lazcano in his comeback fight and then obliterated by Pacquiao, Hatton seemed to have lost any punch resistance he once had. This is one of the main elements that Hatton must either improve or he must place in measures which restricts his opponents from exploiting it, I.E., a better defence.
Having said that, Senchenko is a decent enough opponent, obviously hand-picked to make Ricky look good but one that could potentially give him a few problems along the way. He’s an ex-world champion and you don’t get world honours without having some talent. Never the less, if Hatton is even a shadow of his former-self, I would be extremely surprised if Senchenko makes it 12. Senchenko was stopped by the awkward Paulie Malignaggi last year and despite Malignaggi’s accomplished ring craft, he can’t punch. In Layman terms – If Malignaggi can stop Senchenko, so can 95% of the people reading this article.
Levity aside, I for one I am relishing seeing Hatton back in the ring. It’s been fantastic to see him battle his demons and perhaps victory tonight will see him finally conquer them all together. Let’s look forward to another great night of boxing in Manchester and another great night for the sport.