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Page last updated at 08:56 GMT, Sunday, 17 January 2010

Ricky Hatton dismisses health concerns for comeback

Ricky Hatton
Hatton suffered the second defeat of his career against Pacquiao in May last year

Ricky Hatton has dismissed concerns he is putting his health at risk after confirming he will return to the ring.

The former two-weight world champion is set to make a comeback this year with WBA lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, 36, the likely opponent.

Hatton, 31, was knocked out in two rounds by Filipino great Manny Pacquiao in May and his weight has ballooned more than his usual since then.

"I'm sick of hearing about my weight," Hatton told BBC 5 live's Sportsweek.

"I'm a little bit heavier than I am normally would be and I will do a few weeks extra to compensate.

606: DEBATE
Haito

"I have always had criticism of my weight, especially in the past four years.

"I would guess I'm about 12st 10lb and I would generally need to lose two stone for a light-welterweight fight."

"I want to do four or five weeks away from the gym shedding time and then doing my normal 12-week training camp."

Hatton was urged by many to retire following his crushing loss to Pacquiao in Las Vegas last year.

He was sent to the canvas twice by Pacquiao before being knocked out cold late in the second round and was later taken to hospital for a precautionary brain scan.

It followed on from the battering he took from Floyd Mayweather in December 2007, when he was knocked out in the 10th round by the American.

But Hatton says he is not worried that he is past his best and does not think he is putting his long-term health in danger.

"I've had 47 fights and I've lost two," said Hatton.

"Everyone is forgetting I have lost to the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

"Normally you retire when somebody who is not in your class beats you. I don't listen to people on the internet or who are sat in their armchair. I listen to my family, people in the gym and those behind the scenes who saw what went on in the training camp.

Ricky Hatton
Hatton has allowed his weight to balloon to nearly 13 stone

"It's nice that people are concerned about my health. You can't judge if I'm past it sat in your armchair watching a couple of rounds on the TV. If you had been in that training camp you would know what had happened."

Hatton admits he was close to retiring after his loss to Pacquiao but felt he "owed it to himself" to give it another go.

The Manchester fighter also felt the training camp before the fight with Pacquiao was partly responsible for his defeat adding that his preparation left him feeling "overtrained" and like a "man walking to the gallows" as he entered the ring in Las Vegas.

"If I won the next fight I would probably call it a day," added Hatton.

"I don't want the last memory of me to be lying on my back. I want to come back and finish on the top.

"I want to have one fight, come back to prove the critics and doubters wrong so the last memory is that Ricky fought one of the best pound-for-pound fighters or a world champion and that's when he finished. That's the only thing I want to prove."



see also
Hatton to return to ring in 2010
10 Dec 09 |  Boxing
Hatton 'set for Marquez showdown'
18 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Hatton ponders Mayweather rematch
21 Oct 09 |  Boxing
Classy Mayweather pummels Marquez
20 Sep 09 |  Boxing
Hatton floored by brutal Pacquiao
03 May 09 |  Boxing
Marquez claims lightweight belts
02 Mar 09 |  Boxing
Pacquiao wins epic Marquez clash
16 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Dominant Mayweather stops Hatton
09 Dec 07 |  Boxing
Pacquiao held to draw
09 May 04 |  Boxing


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