Hatton poised for ring return

Salisbury Journal: Ricky Hatton looks set to return to the boxing ring Ricky Hatton looks set to return to the boxing ring

Ricky Hatton is set to bring an end to his three-year retirement by announcing his return to the ring at a press conference in Manchester on Friday.

Hatton, who turns 34 next month, issued a press release promising a "major announcement" - believed to be details of his first fight since a brutal second-round knockout by Manny Pacquiao in May 2009.

Hatton has shed almost three stones in training this year, sparking rumours of an imminent comeback, which is expected to take place at the MEN Arena in Manchester on November 24.

Since losing to Pacquiao, Hatton has established his own promotions company but ran into problems in May when he lost his television deal with Sky.

If Hatton's comeback becomes official, it is likely the undercard would feature a majority of Hatton Promotions boxers, including Martin Murray, Anthony Crolla, Rendall Munroe and Scott Quigg.

Hatton is in the process of re-applying for a boxing licence with the British Boxing Board of Control, but barring any recent medical issues it is unthinkable that the 'Hitman' would be rejected.

He is expected to sign a multi-fight deal with a broadcaster designed to culminate in a rematch next year with New Yorker Paulie Malignaggi, whom he beat in Las Vegas in 2008.

While Hatton went on to be floored by Pacquiao, Malignaggi has somewhat reinvented himself and won the WBA welterweight title with a stoppage win over Vyacheslav Senchenko in Ukraine in April.

Malignaggi carries the significant incentive of being regarded as a light puncher - only seven of his 31 wins have come inside the distance - which is a major boost for Hatton after the nature of his knockout losses to Pacquiao and Mayweather.

Some fear for Hatton's punch resistance, pointing out that his comeback fight against semi-retired, light-punching Juan Lazcano in Manchester in 2008 almost ended in disaster when he was caught in the final seconds of the fight.

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