Ricky Hatton is determined not to let his emotions get the better of him when he returns to the boxing ring against Vyacheslav Senchenko tomorrow night.
The 34-year-old’s personal troubles since his last fight have been well documented as battles with spiralling weight, drink, drugs and depression left him suicidal. But, over the last five months, he has got himself back in shape, dropping from 15 stone down to welterweight, and a sell-out crowd will hope to see the victorious return of a local hero at Manchester Arena.
Hatton’s last contest in May 2009 brought a brutal knockout against Manny Pacquiao, the second defeat of his career following a 2007 loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. But Hatton is adamant he has learned from the mistakes. “I’ve spent so much time sulking about the Mayweather defeat and the Pacquiao defeat. They were my two biggest fights and I messed up,” he said. “It will be a very emotional night for me. The ring walk, if you talk to most fighters, it’s where you get your nerves together, you start thinking about your family and your kids, what you’ve gone through to get to this point.
“I’m here to redeem myself. I’ve got to keep all that tension inside me and control it.
“Life has kicked my arse. I’ve got so much tension and anger inside me that I want to throw at Senchenko, but I can’t throw it at him like I did against Manny Pacquaio. It’s got to be to the game plan and in a positive manner.”