Hitman confirms boxing return
Ricky Hatton on Friday confirmed he is coming out of retirement, with a return to the ring pencilled in for Saturday 24 November.
The former two-weight world champion, who turns 34 next month and last fought three years ago, announced he is relaunching his career at a press conference in Manchester this morning.
He will return to the ring on November 24, with a fight at the Manchester Arena against an as yet unnamed opponent.
Hatton's last bout was a brutal second-round knockout by Manny Pacquiao in May 2009 and he has since overcome drug and alcohol problems.
He established his own promotions company which ran into problems in May when he lost his television deal with Sky.
The 33-year-old said on Friday: "It's been well documented what's happened to me since the last time you saw me in a boxing ring.
"I suffered a two-round demolition to Manny Pacquiao in my last fight and nobody wants to see their career end that way.
"Consequently it pushed me into retirement which I never really wanted to do, and what happened to me in the last three years came because of what happened to me in that fight and the manner of that defeat."
Hatton was the subject of allegations of cocaine abuse two years ago and within days he was admitted to a rehabilitation facility. Drink and depression were major issues for Hatton at the time.
"I don't want people telling my kids that I blew it," Hatton added.
"I want my kids to be able to say, 'He was a world champion, he had his problems, but my did he bounce back'.
"I want people to be proud of me again. I want British sport, my kids and my fans and my friends to be proud of me.
"I had my problems but I'm over that now and I want people to look at me in a different light.
"I don't want people to see how I flushed my life away.
"I understand there'll be people concerned for my welfare and it's nice to know there's so many people care about me, but I think they know why I'm coming back."
Hatton will have Manchester-based trainer Bob Shannon in his corner for the November fight, and it was Shannon's back-to-basics approach which appealed to the former two-weight world champion.
"I'm in the best shape I've ever been in 12 weeks before a fight because I'm making up for three years of lost time," Hatton said.
"Bob's been a good friend of mine and I've been watching him coach from a distance for a number of years and his method of training is the old-school way I like to train.
"I had some of my best performances over the years with my trainer Billy Graham working with the body belt, working with the weights and the strength, angles and pushing off.
"I've gone back to basics in more ways than one and I'm pleased with how I'm performing in the gym.
"I don't expect everyone to take my word for it and the only way I will convince the people is to flatten someone on November 24 - and that's what I plan to do."
The Hatton camp were tight-lipped on who that opponent might be, with several names seemingly in the frame at this stage. An announcement is expected within the next fortnight.
Hatton did, however, appear to rule out any journeymen or novices by saying he does not want to think about any four or six-round fights to ease his way back into the ring.
He said: "I'm back to try to win another world title and in order to put myself in a position to do that I need a ranking fight.
"I'm not going to get ranked if I fight a journeyman, I need a challenge.
"I've never shied away from a challenge my whole career and nothing's changed.
"It will be a fighter that people will respect me for choosing someone of that level and it will be an opponent that will get me ranked, and in getting me ranked I'll be in a position to fulfil my dream which is to have another belt around my waist.
"As soon as I get myself ranked and in a position to fight for the world title then that's what I'll be going for."
Hatton confirmed he would be returning at welterweight and did not rule out the possibility of a fight against fellow Brits Amir Kahn and Kell Brook at some point down the line.
"There's the likes of Paulie Malignaggi who has won a world title at that weight and there's some great fighters in this country like Amir Khan and Kell Brook, and I won't lie to you, I would love a run and jump at those lot.
"But this is more than world titles, it's about me redeeming myself."