By Nick McKenna, Chris Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
RICKY HATTON has ditched the weighting game which saw him pile on FOUR stone between fights.
Hatton, 33, will return to the ring on November 24 – two-and-a-half years since Filipino Manny Pacquiao left him flat on his back in Las Vegas.
The Manchester scrapper has yet to name his opponent for his big comeback – but has pledged to quit his after-bout drinking sessions.
Hatton was dubbed Ricky “Fatton” for his behaviour post- fight during his career as he ballooned in weight from his ten stone light-welterweight limit to 14 stone thanks to booze as he partied on his famous ‘dodgy shirt’ nights.
After enduring two-and-a-half years of hell outside the ring as he battled alcohol, drugs and depression, the Hitman is promising to be more mature.
The former two-weight world champ said: “I am going to change my spots but you can’t completely change me.
“I’m a Jack the Lad and all that but I cringe at the weight I had to lose all those years ago. If I’m going to make a comeback, the three stone I used to shed when I was 25 years of age, I can’t shed that as I’m 34 next month.
“Things have got to change. I can’t turn around to my fighters and say, ‘Listen, keep coming in the gym and do not balloon in weight’ if I’m going to go out and do it.”
Hatton admitted it will be tough to put his fiancé Jennifer through the mill again after she was left devastated by the Pacquiao KO.
“When I said to Jennifer 14 weeks ago that I was thinking about a comeback, she was like ‘Oh, don’t do it Rick’,” he said.
“But she has seen me develop as a person, as a fighter and she has since said to me ‘I wasn’t sure at first because I love you but this has been the best decision you have ever made’.
One man tipping Hatton to regain a world title is British heavyweight champion David Price.
Price, 29, who defends his belts against Audley Harrison in his home city of Liverpool on October 13, said: “He can win another world title.
“The rest might have done him good.”