Boxing: Hatton ready for return to the ring

Ricky Hatton: comeback
Ricky Hatton: comeback
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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 ten-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 flying fists inside two brutal rounds at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand.

A shambolic build-up to the bout under the guidance of Floyd Mayweather snr 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 said. “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. Every time a wall’s been put in front of me I’ve knocked it down.”