Hatton Says First Sparring Session Set Him on Course

Ricky Hatton will have no fears over his punch resistance when he makes his highly-anticipated comeback in Manchester this weekend.

Former two-weight world champion Hatton takes on once-beaten Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko in a 10-round welterweight contest on Saturday night, returning to the ring three-and-a-half years on from his last outing.

On that occasion, the 34-year-old fell victim to Manny Pacquiao's blurring fists inside two brutal rounds at Las Vegas' MGM Grand.

A shambolic build-up to the bout under the guidance of Floyd Mayweather Sr saw Hatton floored by sparring partners before the Filipino superstar chillingly rendered him unconscious.

Having overcome a raft of personal problems to launch his comeback, Hatton conceded to feeling apprehensive the first time he stepped through the ropes to spar in preparation from Senchenko.

"It was the biggest test really," he said. "In my first spar I was nervous.

"I put my protector on, put my head guard on, took a deep breath and thought: 'Phew, I didn't think I'd be doing this again'.

"But the first time I got hit on the chin I wanted to knock him out, so that's a positive."

Relentless determination was a hallmark of Hatton's heyday and he believes tapping into the same qualities have been vital in pursuit of the 10st 7lbs welterweight limit, having come close to tipping the scales at 15 stone before a return to gym work over the summer.

"When I started my circuits and it started getting hard, doing my uphill sprints, it would have been dead easy for me to say 'I'd forgotten how hard this lot was, it's not for me', but I didn't," he said.

"Every time a wall's been put in front of me I've knocked it down.

"If it's going to be the comeback I think it's going to be, that's the way it had to be and that's the way it has been."

Over the past year Hatton has donned the trainers' mitts - star pupil Sergey Rabchenko makes the first defence of his European light-middleweight title on the Manchester Arena undercard - and his time in the corner has provided a fresh perspective that he hopes will help refine the rougher edges of a famously all-action fighting style.

Hatton added: "Day in, day out I train my fighters - jab first before you go in, move your head after the combination and stuff like that.

"I can't tell my fighters to do it if I don't do it myself.

"Because I come in the gym in the morning and work with my fighters, it sort of gets my mind racing for my workouts at teatime. I think it's going to help and make me a better fighter.

"I'm a little bit older and a little bit wiser now anyway but you see things from a coaching point of view a little bit differently and I've been able to add it to my own game."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Zarco on 11-21-2012

Damn thats crazy how he still got nervous in his first sparring session for his comeback. After every thing a famous boxer like him has been through for his boxing career.

Comment by koffiekewl on 11-21-2012

Who told him him to move his head when he Fought Pacquaio and got floored. People are dissing Floyd SR but the guy worked for his money and whether he took his advise or not, i guess now, he is…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (2)
Top Headlines Abel Sanchez: Ponamarev Likely Back on Lomachenko vs. Walters Bryant Jennings Ready To Step In, Face Anthony Joshua on 12/10 Dereck Chisora: Dillian Whyte is Nothing - I Will Stop Him! Vernon Forrest - Third Man Has Been Convicted in His Murder Pacquiao Feels Brunt of Long Flight, Takes Off From Training Marquez: If Canelo Trades With Golovkin - He's Committing Suicide! Lucas Browne Finds Himself in Limbo After Klitschko's Injury Andre Ward Aims To Set The Record Straight With Sergey Kovalev Video: Joe Smith Jr. Very Pumped To Face Bernard Hopkins Haye Explains Why Anthony Joshua-Eric Molina is Next - Not Price Marrero vs. Zambrano Talks Progress As Purse Bid Looms Klitschko's Manager Says Unfinished Contract Led To 2017 Jump Video: Oscar De La Hoya on Schaefer's Return, Hopkins, More Photos: Bernard Hopkins, Joe Smith Jr. - Face To Face at Presser Anthony Mundine, Danny Green Rematch Set For February 3 Video: Bernard Hopkins, Joe Smith - Go Face To Face Video: Bernard Hopkins Breaks Down Joe Smith Showdown Arum on Parker vs. Ruiz Possibly Heading To The United States Joshua-Klitschko Eyed For March, April at Principality Stadium Vanes Martirosyan: I’m Not Happy With Al Haymon, My Promoter Josh Hernandez Inks Promotional With Warriors Boxing Hearn Looks Ahead For Joshua, Hoping For Klitschko in 2017 Manny Pacquiao Noncommittal on Fighting Beyond November 5 Monaghan vs. Boesel, Abraham vs. Krasniqi WBO Eliminators Wladimir Klitschko Out Of December 10 Fight With Injury Andre Ward: My Skills Never Left, I'm Feeling Better Than Ever LaRon Mitchell Drops, Decisions Scott Alexander in Ontario Photos: Marco Huck, Dmytro Kucher Size Up at Hannover Presser Anthony Ogogo Suffered Broken Eye Socket in Cunningham Loss Kovalev Hopes To Become The P4P Best With Win Over Ward Donaire Spars Twelve Hard Rounds With Chocolatito's Cousin Joseph Parker's Coach: I Really Like Andy Ruiz's Style For Us Trainer: Smith's Pressure, Power Will Take Care of Bernard Hopkins Lemieux Targets Canelo Showdown - Catch-Weight is Ruled Out Daily Bread Mailbag: Golovkin-Jacobs, Kovalev-Ward, Aaron Pryor Long-Reigning Lefties - Pacquiao, Hagler, Martinez, Winky, More Browne Shreds Whyte: You're Euro Level, an Ugly Motherf***er Boxer Tries To Leave The Ring Mid-Count After Being Dropped Roach: Pacquiao Has Been Hurting Me, Expect a Different Manny! Former World Champion Seriously Injured, Attacked With a Sword

Latest Active Forum Threads