Ricky Hatton return would blow the welterweight division wide open

Phil Jay 21/08/2012

Former light-welter and welterweight world champion Ricky Hatton is reportedly ready to add another big name to an already stacked 147lb division and will certainly be in the hunt for big challenges upon his return to the ring.

Hatton, 33, according to The Daily Star, is expected to imminently announce his long-awaited return to activity following a three-year absence and has already been linked to fights with WBA champion Paulie Malignaggi and former pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao.

There are also plenty of options for the ‘Hitman’ if he requires a warm-up fight as Lovemore Ndou, who fought out a draw with Ricky’s younger brother Matthew in 2009, is the first of what promises to be many, to put his name forward to face Hatton.

What chance also of a long-delayed grudge match between Hatton and current British champion Junior Witter if the boxer-turned promoter and trainer was intent on taking smaller strides towards the top levels fighters.

Future opponents could include the likes of Devon Alexander, Victor Ortiz and Timothy Bradley, whilst an all-British match-up between Hatton and Kell Brook would also have the UK fans salivating over the prospect.

One potential fight that may be off the table is a money-spinning contest with Former unified champion Amir Khan as the two have been firm friends over the years and may decide that a clash would be against their interests.

There would then be the question of whether Hatton would pursue a rematch with Floyd Mayweather as their first fight was a lot more competitive than some of the world’s best fighter’s recent outings until ‘Money’ ended the contest in the eleventh round.

The return of the exciting body puncher would add even more spice to an already overflowing division and would give the top end fighters another option to consider. Hatton would certainly add more speculation and intrigue to the weight-class, which is already bringing so many great match-ups to the fore.

Whatever he confirms in the coming weeks, British fans are buzzing in anticipation of the return of one of their favourite boxing sons and the sport would only be enhanced by the addition of a reinvigorated Hatton to the welterweight ranks.

Editors note (19:15pm BST): Ricky Hatton’s agent Paul Speak has since denied The Daily Star’s report of a November fight.