Ricky Hatton announces ring return aged 43 for exhibition bout

Former light-welterweight world champion Ricky Hatton has announced plans to face Mexican icon Marco Antonio Barrera in an eight-round exhibition bout in July in a post on social media

Amir Khan v Kell Brook - Manchester AO Arena
Ricky Hatton at the AO Arena, Manchester. Picture date: Saturday February 19, 2022.
Image: Ricky Hatton has announced plans to box in an exhibition bout

Former world champion Ricky Hatton has announced he is returning to the boxing ring at the age of 43.

Hatton retired from boxing in 2012, his defeat to Vyacheslav Senchenko coming more than three years after his previous fight against Manny Pacquiao.

The former light-welterweight world champion, now a trainer, will take on Mexican icon Marco Antonio Barrera in his home city of Manchester later this year.

"I can confirm my return to the ring," Hatton posted on his personal Twitter account.

"Join me for a huge party night - with top music acts - in Manchester on July 2. It's not how you fall, it's how you rise..."

Hatton and three-weight world champion Barrera will face off in an eight-round exhibition bout.

The 48-year-old Mexican, who was beaten by Amir Khan in 2009, last fought in 2011 when he brought his 75-fight professional career to a close with a stoppage win over Jose Arias.

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'Anything that keeps Hatton healthy is important'

Sky Sports' Adam Smith:

"It's not a comeback fight, it's an exhibition. It is well documented that Ricky has fought his demons and anything that keeps him fit, keeps him in shape and keeps him healthy is important.

"I had a good chat with him in Manchester before Amir Khan vs Kell Brook and he seems in a really good place, so if this is an exhibition against an old mate of his and is safe then fair enough.

"I don't want to see Ricky come back and fight at his age. An exhibition but no more."

Former WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla:

"I grew up idolising him. I think he inspired a generation and will go down as one of the all-time British boxing greats. We will never see the support he had ever again, I genuinely believe that.

"Boxing comebacks rarely end well but this is not a comeback. It's just two mates.

"I think the message here is what you can come back from and about staying fit and healthy."

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