Tag Archives: vyacheslav

Ricky Hatton in Let"s Dance For Comic Relief

Former world champion Hatton to pull on dancing shoes for Comic Relief

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

00:01 GMT, 27 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:03 GMT, 27 January 2013

Ricky Hatton will swap the boxing ring for the dance floor when he takes part in Let's Dance For Comic Relief.

Fifteen contestants will battle it out in weekly heats before the 2013 champion is crowned in the grand final.

Former world champion Hatton retired for a second time after losing his comeback bout to Vyacheslav Senchenko last November.

Change of scenery: Boxer Ricky Hatton will dance for Comic Relief

Change of scenery: Boxer Ricky Hatton will dance for Comic Relief

He will be joined on the show by impersonator John Culshaw, ventriloquist Nina Conti and stand-up comic Tim Vine.

They will be attempting to emulate the success of television presenter Rowland Rivron, who wowed audiences with his routine to Fatboy Slim's Weapon Of Choice last year.

Host Steve Jones said: 'It's still the most fun I have on TV so I am ecstatic Let's Dance is back with a whole host of famous faces along with famous arms, legs, necks and fingers all attempting to dance for our viewing pleasure.'

Over and out: Hatton was beaten by Vyacheslav Senchenko on his comeback

Over and out: Hatton was beaten by Vyacheslav Senchenko on his comeback

Co-host Alex Jones said she was 'ridiculously excited' about the series, which raises money for the Comic Relief fund to help those in Africa and in the UK.

She added: 'We have some of our best comedians as panellists, and an unbelievable line-up of brave celebrities who are all prepared to don their dancing shoes to raise lots of money for this year's Red Nose Day.'

Judges for this year's Let's Dance, which starts on February 16 and ends on March 9, include Frank Skinner and Jo Brand. Viewers vote for their favourite performer each week, with the judges also choosing a runner-up to compete in the final.

Andrew Flintoff weighs in for heavyweight boxing debut with Richard Dawson

EXCLUSIVE: Hatton's trainer to be in opposite corner as Flintoff weighs in for heavyweight boxing debut against Dawson

|

UPDATED:

17:00 GMT, 29 November 2012

Richard Dawson will have Ricky Hatton's trainer in his corner tomorrow night when he fights former England cricket captain Andrew Flintoff.

Bob Shannon stepped in at the last minute after the American's trainer was unable to obtain a visa to travel from Oklahoma for the bout at the Manchester Arena.

Flintoff, who has lost three-and-a-half stone for the bout, weighed in today at 216lb, considerably lighter than the slightly shorter Dawson who tipped the scales at 241lb.

Squaring up: Andrew Flintoff weighs in at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester ahead of his heavyweight debut against Richard Dawson

Squaring up: Andrew Flintoff weighs in at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester ahead of his heavyweight debut against Richard Dawson

Patriotic: Flintoff sported a pair of Union Jack boxer shorts as he stripped off and jumped on the scales

Patriotic: Flintoff sported a pair of Union Jack boxer shorts as he stripped off and jumped on the scales

Relaxed: Flintoff looked assured as he prepares to step into the ring for the first time at the MEN Arena on Friday night

Relaxed: Flintoff looked assured as he prepares to step into the ring for the first time at the MEN Arena on Friday night

Passing on a few tips: Still sporting a black eye from his defeat to Vyacheslav Senchencko last weekend, Ricky Hatton shows Flintoff some techniques at the weigh-in

Passing on a few tips: Still sporting a black eye from his defeat to Vyacheslav Senchencko last weekend, Ricky Hatton shows Flintoff some techniques at the weigh-in

Ricky Hatton passes on some advice to Andrew Flintoff

The 23-year-old American was
hand-picked by Flintoff's mentor Barry McGuigan and brings with him an
unbeaten record after three professional fights.

But Flintoff, 34, believes his gruelling training regime will give him the advantage in front of an expected crowd of 5,000.

'I've been working with Shane and
Barry and they've got me in unbelievable shape,' he said. 'It's a
different type of training to when I was playing cricket. I've done the
rounds in sparring and I'm looking forward to tomorrow night.

Andrew Flintoff during the weigh in for his Heavyweight bout with Richard Dawson

Richard Dawson during the weigh in at The Hilton Hotel, Manchester

Size difference: Flintoff tipped the scales at 216lbs, considerably lighter than Dawson at 241lbs

Mutual respect: An embrace and a handshake between the two antagonists after the weigh-in

Mutual respect: An embrace and a handshake between the two antagonists after the weigh-in

'The last four-and-a-half-months have been the hard work and I want to go out and enjoy it.

'It was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. I played cricket until I was 31 and wasn't ready to sit back and do nothing.

'It's had its moments, especially in
some of the training and sparring sessions, but I've never thought about
packing it in. I've asked myself why I'm doing it but the hardest
things you do are the most rewarding.'

Uncompromising: Dawson has pledged to turn the former England cricket captain's debut into a nightmare

Uncompromising: Dawson has pledged to turn the former England cricket captain's debut into a nightmare

Flintoff, who was not dropped during
his 300 rounds of sparring, insists he has not thought about whether his
new career will extend beyond his maiden bout.

'First and foremost my focus is on
tomorrow night and after that we'll decide where it's going. It would be
dangerous to look past tomorrow night.

'Richard has come over and my
attention is on that. It was the same with cricket in the last part of
my career, I didn't look too far ahead.'

Dawson, meanwhile, has promised to knock Flintoff out and enjoy an early night on first visit to these shores.

'I'm here to win and and Mr Freddie is here to win,' he said. 'I respect Freddie but I'm going to attack him.

'I put pressure on; pressure wins fights and I'm here to win and get it over with.'

Ricky Hatton fans receive apology from Primetime over blackout

Hatton shines on as Primetime apologises to hundreds of boxing fans after TV blackout

|

UPDATED:

16:51 GMT, 28 November 2012

Eye eye: Ricky Hatton still looks a bit bruised

Eye eye: Ricky Hatton still looks a bit bruised

Ricky Haton was still showing the war wounds from his comeback at the weekend as Primetime apologised to hundreds of fight fans who missed the action due to 'technical issues.'

Hatton had his retrun to the ring cut short in the penultimate round by Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko in one of the most eagerly awaited fights of the year.

Thousands turned up at the Manchester Arena to cheer on their local hero but many opting to watch the bout on the box were left disappointed.

People were unable to order the fight from the TV channel between the peak times of 7.10pm and 9.50pm and were cut off after trying to get though to the automated system.

Others were faced with a blank screen despite paying 14.95 to watch the fight.

Primetime has denied being understaffed on the night has promised to deal with every individual complaint.

Adam Taylor, Head of Sales and Customer Services for Portland TV, which owns Primetime, told the BBC: 'This fight was retailed on the largest number of outlets we've ever used so it was only Sky customers who may have had problems.

No more: Haton is hanging up his gloves for good this time

No more: Haton is hanging up his gloves for good this time

'At the moment we've experienced 700 complaints which we are working to resolve. Customers who we didn't send a signal to would not have been charged.

'We had our largest ever customer operations service on for this event and we will be hoping to get all complaints resolved by the end of this week.'

The channel also had problems during a 2009 broadcast of Carl Froch v Andre Dirrell.

The Hitman, back at his gym in Hyde on Wednesday afternoon, announced his retirement shortly after the fight and will now focus on his responsibilities as trainer and promoter as he guides the careers of the likes of Martin Murray and Scott Quigg.

Saturday was 34-year-old Hatton's first fight since he was brutally knocked out by Manny Pacquiao in 2009.

Ricky Hatton posts picture of black eye from gym

I must be mental! Hatton returns to gym two days into second retirement

|

UPDATED:

09:22 GMT, 27 November 2012

Ricky Hatton was back in his gym today after his comeback was cut abruptly short by Vyacheslav Senchenko on Saturday night in Manchester.

The Hitman was knocked out in the penultimate round by the Ukrainian and announced his retirement an hour later.

But Hatton, 34, has vowed not to return to the vicious cycle of drink and depression which blighted him after his brutal defeat to Manny Pacquiao in 2009.

Battered and bruised: Ricky Hatton was beaten by Vyacheslav Senchenko

Battered and bruised: Ricky Hatton was beaten by Vyacheslav Senchenko

And he tweeted a photo of himself in his gym with the tagline: 'If I'm not sick of this place, ha ha. I must be mental.'

Hatton will now focus on his responsibilities as trainer and promoter as he guides the careers of the likes of Martin Murray and Scott Quigg.

'A fighter knows when it's not there, and it's not there,' he said on Saturday. 'I've had too many fights and burnt the candles at both ends.

End of the road: Hatton was knocked out (above) before retiring (below)

End of the road: Hatton was knocked out (above) before retiring (below)

Ricky Hatton

'I've lost four and half stone for this and my sparring was great but I'm not going to put myself through that torture again.

'I got the answers. I was crying in the ring and no doubt I'll be crying tonight but I'm happy. I had to go in there and find out and I did.

'I've no complaints. It's been three and a half years and you all know the story. I needed to put a few demons to rest and I said before the fight I felt I'd already won and that hasn't changed.'

Ricky Hatton can now look to a bright future

Hatton can take the Tyson track and head for a better future after comeback

|

UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 27 November 2012

The end for Ricky Hatton was eerily reminiscent of the evening one of his idols realised that the force was no longer with him.

It was seven years ago to the month that Mike Tyson sat on his stool and forfeited the victory which gave run-of-the-mill heavyweight Kevin McBride his one moment of totally unexpected fame.

As an event it was less violent than Hatton's collapse under a brutal blow to the liver in Manchester on Saturday night but the shock which reverberated around the world was far greater.

The end: Ricky Hatton's comeback ended in disappointment on Saturday night

The end: Ricky Hatton's comeback ended in disappointment on Saturday night

Moving on: Hatton can hang up the gloves for good this time with his head held high

Moving on: Hatton can hang up the gloves for good this time with his head held high

Gave it a go: Hattonwent at Vyacheslav Senchenko of Ukraine at the Manchester Arena

Gave it a go: Hattonwent at Vyacheslav Senchenko of Ukraine at the Manchester Arena

More from Jeff Powell…

Jeff Powell: Over to you, Ricky… Froch hands over British baton to returning hero Hatton
19/11/12

Jeff Powell: Cannon fodder will help Brits catch the big fish in the end
12/11/12

Jeff Powell: Fury on the campaign trail for a world title if Klitschko's political move disappoints Haye
05/11/12

Jeff Powell: Steward is gone but Hearns will fight for The Kronk to live on
29/10/12

Jeff Powell boxing column: So long, Ricky Fatton! Returning Hitman vows to quit boozing between bouts
22/10/12

Jeff Powell: Retired and broke, Holyfield still has hope… but it's help he really needs
15/10/12

Jeff Powell: Tyson takes time to show Hatton and Haye the way back to the top
08/10/12

Jeff Powell: Sold out arena, tough opponent… all Hatton needs now is a TV station
01/10/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

The outcome was the same – a comeback ended more abruptly than any of us could have imagined.

Both Hatton and Tyson had been out of action for more than three years. Tyson spent most of that time in prison, Hatton in wild and self-destructive excesses.

Tyson, one of the great boxers of the modern era, retrieved from his jail cell enough of his physical strength and aura of menace to regain the world heavyweight title.

Hatton, a fighter of the people and for the people, was too damaged by the freedom of his lifestyle to return for more than a single fight.

Yet both men have come through these toils clinging to a better future.

One difference is that where it took Tyson years after that surrender to build a new life, Hatton has done it while in the course of preparing for his one-night comeback.

Yet the hour of truth was the same for both men.

Tyson came before those of us who had chronicled his extraordinary career to say this about his capacity for almost decapitating opponents: 'I just can't do this any longer.'

Hatton told we who he had taken on a thrilling ride: 'It's not there any more.'

That said, Tyson walked out into the cold, dark, rain-soaked streets of a Washington night in November 2005, never to throw a punch in anger again. Hatton did the same in Manchester shortly after midnight on Saturday.

They say they never come back. But they do. And who is to say they shouldn't try.

Both the Hitman and the Iron Man have been improved by this harrowing experience.

Long may they remain so.

The end for Iron Mike: Tyson lost to Kevin McBride in Washington

The end for Iron Mike: Tyson lost to Kevin McBride in Washington

It's certainly not cricket, Freddie

The up-coming weekend is heavy in more ways than one for boxing.

Two Brits aiming for world title shots next year – David Price and Tyson Fury – should move another rung up that ladder without undue discomfort.

It is less certain what will happen when a former Ashes winning cricketer – Freddie Flintoff – steps into the prize-ring for the first time.

Neither Price nor Fury are likely to be derailed by Matt Skelton or Kevin Johnson, respectively.

Skelton, who is a toned advertisement for fitness fanaticism despite being well into into his 40s, will do his best to rough up Price for as long as he can evade the giant Liverpudlian's sledgehammer right hand at Aintree on Friday night.

Change of scene: Andrew Flintoff (right, with British champion David Price) laces up the gloves on Friday

Change of scene: Andrew Flintoff (right, with British champion David Price) laces up the gloves on Friday

Johnson, who most of us on this side of the Atlantic thought had retired, will bring his American wiles and professional pride to Belfast on Saturday night and make it as awkward as possible for Fury to land his knockout bazooka.

Neither fight is likely to go the distance and the odds are that Fury will precede Price into world championship challenges to a Klitschko next year.

Predicting the consequences of Flintoff entering the MEN Arena on Friday evening is more problematic.

Whatever Freddie thinks boxing for real may be like, one thing is for sure – it isn't cricket.

There are dangers inherent in facing up to fast bowlers but the object of the game is not to hit the opponent in the head.

Flintoff is not the first successful British sportsman to fancy his chances in the ring.

Olympic rower James Cracknell, for one, ventured into one heavyweight fight which lasted less than a minute.

There is a difference with Flintoff. He has been taken under the wing of Barry McGuigan, who is not only one of our legendary world champions but also one of the most intelligent icons in the hard old game.

Bring it on: Flintoff has been training under the guidance of Barry McGuigan and his son Shane (pictured)

Bring it on: Flintoff has been training under the guidance of Barry McGuigan and his son Shane (pictured)

McGuigan and his fitness trainer son Shane have pared 50lbs of Flintoff's post-cricketing flab, kept him off the booze and promise they are bringing him to this moment properly prepared.

In that, they have convinced the British Boxing Board of Control to issue Freddie with a license.

/11/26/article-2238757-1626019E000005DC-274_634x449.jpg” width=”634″ height=”449″ alt=”Dream team: Flintoff with Barry (left) and Shane McGuigan” class=”blkBorder” />

Dream team: Flintoff with Barry (left) and Shane McGuigan

There is no denying that Flintoff has dedicated himself to the task and lived right during his training camp.

But although his hand-picked opponent is just a two-fight professional novice plucked out of the American back-woods, he will be at physical risk.

Reports from those who have seen him sparring are mixed, to say the least, and more than one established boxer has warned him to be shocked and rocked to his boots the first time he is caught by a blow from a heavyweight wearing the lighter fight gloves.

Flintoff himself says: 'I won't know what it will be like until the bell rings.'

Questions have been asked of the Board's decision to sanction this experiment. Although they have studied Flintoff in the gym and put him through stringent medical tests, they too will be hoping that nothing goes too painfully wrong.

It takes courage for any man – or woman these days – to climb through the ropes, notably so in this case given the memory of how worryingly long it took for Cracknell to be revived.

So it would be churlish not to wish our Freddie the best of luck, along with out Barry and our game.

Price-Skelton and Flintoff's debut will be live Friday night on BoxNation. Fury-Johnson will be live Saturday night on Channel 5.

Goodby brave Camacho

Hector Camacho was as brave as any man to have laced up the gloves and his senseless slaying is a cowardly violation of the fighting qualities he brought to the ring.

Yes, the Macho man had slipped into a cocaine habit towards the end of his career and there are suggestions of a drugs gang connection to his fatal shooting.

Even so, for this to happen in Puerto Rico, where he was a national hero, defies belief.

Boxing grieved with his family as they came to the heart-rending decision to allow his life-support machine to be switched off.

Sad ending: Hector 'Macho' Camacho was shot and killed in Puerto Rico

Sad ending: Hector 'Macho' Camacho was shot and killed in Puerto Rico

It is more years than he would have cared to remember since Camacho won world titles at three weights, lost to Oscar De La Hoya and then ended Sugar Ray Leonard's last comeback with a famous win in his last fight.

Yet just lately, aged 50, he was considering a comeback. If it had happened he would have thrown himself into it with all his old effervescence.

We would also have seen again that infectious smile, which made the shooting of Camacho in the face all the more obscene…..but for which we will remember him.

Ricky Hatton is back in the gym

I must be mental! Hatton returns to gym two days into second retirement

|

UPDATED:

17:53 GMT, 26 November 2012

Ricky Hatton was back in his gym today after his comeback was cut abruptly short by Vyacheslav Senchenko on Saturday night in Manchester.

The Hitman was knocked out in the penultimate round by the Ukrainian and announced his retirement an hour later.

But Hatton, 34, has vowed not to return to the vicious cycle of drink and depression which blighted him after his brutal defeat to Manny Pacquiao in 2009.

Battered and bruised: Ricky Hatton was beaten by Vyacheslav Senchenko

Battered and bruised: Ricky Hatton was beaten by Vyacheslav Senchenko

And he tweeted a photo of himself in his gym with the tagline: 'If I'm not sick of this place, ha ha. I must be mental.'

Hatton will now focus on his responsibilities as trainer and promoter as he guides the careers of the likes of Martin Murray and Scott Quigg.

'A fighter knows when it's not there, and it's not there,' he said on Saturday. 'I've had too many fights and burnt the candles at both ends.

End of the road: Hatton was knocked out (above) before retiring (below)

End of the road: Hatton was knocked out (above) before retiring (below)

Ricky Hatton

'I've lost four and half stone for this and my sparring was great but I'm not going to put myself through that torture again.

'I got the answers. I was crying in the ring and no doubt I'll be crying tonight but I'm happy. I had to go in there and find out and I did.

'I've no complaints. It's been three and a half years and you all know the story. I needed to put a few demons to rest and I said before the fight I felt I'd already won and that hasn't changed.'

Ricky Hatton feels pain of defeat

Tears follow tragic mistake that turned into an ordeal for brave Hatton

|

UPDATED:

01:01 GMT, 25 November 2012

Reality dawned deep into the ninth round. A left hook to the body stripped away the layers of self-delusion.

It ended the fight and it ended the unwisely extended career of Ricky Hatton.

He finished on his knees, gulping for breath, betraying the pain.

Sad end: Ricky Hatton after being counted out

Sad end: Ricky Hatton after being counted out

The tears began to flow, and Saturday night Manchester wept with him. His face was swollen, a purple bruise consuming his right eye.

He looked a broken fighter, a brutally broken man.

Vyacheslav Senchenko, at 35 a year older than Hatton, a smooth technician yet not a notoriously heavy puncher.

Body blow: Vyacheslav Senchenko knocks Ricky Hatton out with a body shot

Body blow: Vyacheslav Senchenko knocks Ricky Hatton out with a body shot

He is not a man equipped to take out a former world champion with a single body shot.

Yet you sensed that he had simply inflicted retribution for the life that Hatton had led during his three-and-a-half years of retirement.

Cocaine, depression, alcohol abuse, wanton excess; the list is notoriously long. And they all came rushing to the surface when Senchenko threw that shot.

Hatton had given his all in the only way he knows. His timing was helplessly astray, his ability to sustain pressure was sadly reduced.

But he came forward incessantly, despite being a caricature of the fighter he used to be.

Rough and tumble: The fighters fall to the canvas

Rough and tumble: The fighters fall to the canvas

Fighters are the most self-deluding of sportsmen, yet in the abject moments of defeat, Hatton seemed to glimpse the inevitable.

'I keep picking me a*** up off the floor,' he said. 'I don't know how many times I can do it. I'm not a failure, me. I'm not a failure. I'm so sorry, so sorry.'

But the words were spoken from a face which was taking on gargoyle proportions.

Even a light-punching welterweight can inflict depressing damage, and Senchenko had revealed a craftsman's style.

Bruised and battered: Ricky Hatton after the fight

Bruised and battered: Ricky Hatton after the fight

Hatton had gone through his routine in the manner of an old music-hall artist; knowing the lines, reacting to the cues.

From the grotesque choreography of the ring walk to the all-action, fast-punching, not-a-backward-step style, he had demanded the applause of 20,000 Mancunians, many of them quite sober.

But all the time you remembered that this was the man who had swollen his body to 15 and a half stones, and had then been required to lose half of his body weight to re-enter the ring.

Of course, he had little to offer in terms of endurance and punch tolerance. And yet, the ending still held the power to shock, as his legs betrayed him and his lungs refused to suck in the air.

The end: But will Ricky Hatton consider trying to fight on

The end: But will Ricky Hatton consider trying to fight on

The flatterers were already whispering as he left the ring.

Senchenko was a tough choice for the first fight back. Perhaps an easier opponent next time, working slowly to another title shot

But it was nonsense, dangerous nonsense. The comeback was a tragic mistake, the fight a terrible ordeal.

The career is over. And Ricky Hatton knows it, better than anyone.

Ricky Hatton LIVE v Vyacheslav Senchenko

LIVE: Ricky Hatton v Vyacheslav Senchenko – round-by-round coverage of the big fight

|

UPDATED:

23:36 GMT, 24 November 2012

Ricky Hatton's long-awaited comeback against Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Manchester Arena ended in bitter disappointment in front of a sell-out crowd.

Read Sportsmail's live round-by-round coverage of the fight as well as the best of the action from the undercard which featured middleweight Martin Murray as he takes on Jorge Navarro and Scott Quigg's rematch against Rendall Munroe.

Devastating: Ricky Hatton's comeback ended in defeat

Devastating: Ricky Hatton's comeback ended in defeat

THE NIGHT'S BIG FIGHTS

8pm: Scott Quigg v Rendall Munroe (Quigg wins in sixth round)

9pm: Martin Murray v Jorge Navarro (Murray wins in sixth round)

10pm: Ricky Hatton v Vyacheslav Senchenko (Senchenko wins in ninth round)

19:00: Welcome
to Sportsmail's coverage of Ricky Hatton's comeback fight against
Vyacheslav Senchenko. I'm ringside at the Manchester Arena ahead of what
promises to be an explosive, and emotional night of boxing.

I'll
bring you round-by-round updates from the main event as well as the
best of the action from the undercard which features Scott Quigg v
Rendall Munroe (8pm) and Martin Murray v Jorge Navarro (9pm).

Hatton is expected to make his ringwalk at around 10pm for what will be a 10-round fight.

19.05: Sergey
Rabchenko has made a successful first defence of his European
light-middleweight title after a split decision victory over Cedric
Vitu.

The
Belarusian is trained by Ricky Hatton and was given a tough examination
but scraped through on the scorecards: 116-113, 114-115, 116-113.

Vitu, who had 'Cantona 7' on his shorts, suffered his second career defeat from 37 contests.

Ready lads Martin Murray (L) and Jorge Navarro will go head-to-head later on tonight

Ready lads Martin Murray (L) and Jorge Navarro will go head-to-head later on tonight

19.15: Vitu's
corner are furious at the decision but unfortunately my French amounts
to 'merci' and 'oui'. I did hear 'terrible' however which I suspect
means the same in English.

The next fight promises to be a belter. Stephen Foster Jnr takes on Gary Buckland for the British super featherweight title.

It's fair to say the acoustics in here are phenomenal. I doubt the roof will still be in place come 10pm.

19.28: A
lot of holding in the opening three rounds and the referee has been
quick to warn both men but Wales' reigning champion Gary Buckland has
been on top of Foster Jnr thus far.

19.42: Foster Jnr is the home favourite but both men are being well supported in the Arena which is steadily filling up.

The challenger has a nasty cut on his head after the two came together in the sixth round.

The blood looks to be running into the eye which could spell danger. Buckland remains in front on my card.

19.46: The referee calls for the doctor at the start of the seventh but he gives Foster Jnr the ok to continue.

This
fight has suddenly comer to life with both men throwing caution to the
wind. If the fight was stopped now, we would go to the judges' cards.

19.54: Foster
Jnr's corner have pulled their man out at the end of the eighth round
which means Buckland remains his British title. It was a nasty cut but
the Welshman had been on top throughout.

Hyped: Hatton's fans were out in full force at yesterday's weigh-in

Hyped: Hatton's fans were out in full force at yesterday's weigh-in

Hyped: Hatton's fans were out in full force at yesterday's weigh-in

20.00: Ricky Hatton is in his changing room and will be making his ring walk in two hours' time.

Next up is the super-bantamweight rematch between Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe.

The
two first met back in June when a clash of heads saw the latter badly
cut and the fight stopped in the third round which meant it was scored a
technical draw.

Quigg
is the younger man and will need to win to continue his rise and keep
alive hopes of an all-British showdown with Carl Frampton.

20.05: Both men are in the ring and I'll be bringing you round-by-round coverage from here on in.

If Quigg is to be believed, he was just getting warmed up when the first fight was brought to an abrupt halt.

I expect the Bury man, who expelled himself from school to concentrate on boxing, to prevail on points.

Over and out: Rendall Munroe (right) is downed in the sixth round

Over and out: Rendall Munroe (right) is downed in the sixth round

The
interim WBA world super bantamweight title is on the line here which
doesn't mean a whole lot but will propel the winner closer to a world
title fight.

Munroe
is looking for his second shot at the best in the business after losing
to Toshiaki Nishioka on points for the WBC belt in 2010.

20.18: Round 1: A watchful start from both men but Munroe landed the better punches with a couple of lefts to the head.

A little after at the bell. My score (Quigg first) 9-10.

20.22: Round 2: Quigg
ups the ante in the second session but Munroe tucks up well to deflect
the punches on to his gloves. Nevertheless, the Bury man does enough to
nick it. 10-9.

20.26: Round 3: Quigg
begins and ends the stanza well but Munroe gets thorough with an
uppercut and a strong left hand. A straight right from Quigg on the bell
is not enough to rescue it 9-10.

Hammer: Munroe had no response for the stinging blows to the body

Hammer: Munroe had no response for the stinging blows to the body

20.29: Round 4: both
men are unrelenting and this us shaping up to be a cracker. Quigg is
making a point of targeting the body and is getting through. Munroe has
the greater power though 10-9.

20.32: Round 5: Munroe
bizarrely stops mid round to complain about Quigg hitting round the
back, leaving himself exposed and the Bury man pops out a strong jab.

This session could be the start of Quigg dominating after a fine flurry towards the end 10-9.

20:36: Round 6: All
over! Munroe takes a knee with a minute of the round remaining and
although he's up at four, another flurry from Quigg has the same result
but this time he stays down. An impressive win for Quigg who was getting
in top.

20.50: That was impressive from Quigg and he's made a real statement with that stoppage.

He was clearly targetting the body throughout and it paid dividends in that sixth round.

Never
the most spectacular of shots to watch but the damage is all to clear
to see; just as Yusaf Mack after his defeat to Carl Froch last weekend.

The first rendition of 'Hatton Wonderland' rings round the arena and the band are in fine form.

Next up is Martin Murray against undefeated, but untested Jorge Navarro.

Impressive: Scott Quigg ended the fight in the sixth

Impressive: Scott Quigg ended the fight in the sixth

21.00: Both fighters are in the ring and both bring undefeated records.

Murray
drew with then world champion Felix Sturm in Germany last December but
has a frustrating year since, fighting just once against Karim Achour in
June.

The St Helens man is expected to face Sergio Martinez on April 27 in Argentina if he comes through this one intact.

Navarro
hails from Venezuela and has only a dozen contests to his name, winning
10 by KO. The 27-year-old could be anything but it wouldn't be the
first time we've seen a South American come with a 100 per cent record
only to look below-par when truly tested.

21.07: Round 1:
Perhaps I was a little harsh on Navarro. He comes out looking to fight,
controlling the centre of the ring and forcing Murray back to the
ropes.

But
the Venezuelan doesn't manage to connect with his opponent and looks to
be struggling when Murray lands, as he does with a big right hand that
sends Navarro to the canvas with seconds of the session remaining.

He beats the count and comes under sustained pressure but covers up well. My score (Murray first) 10-8

21.13: Round 2: Navarro
remains keen to take the fight to his opponent despite the knockdown
but I'm not convinced he has the power to hurt Murray who works well off
the jab without ,looking spectacular.

His
middleweight rival Matthew Macklin is commentating on the fight for BBC
Five Live alongside Barry McGuigan and will be an interested spectator
10-9.

21.16: Round 3: Murray knows he has the tools to hurt Navarro but doesn't seem overly concerned about finishing the job early.

Getting some rounds under his belt wouldn't be the worst thing for him but an impressive showing wouldn't go amiss either.

He ends this round with a solid left to the body which leaves Navarro wincing 10-9.

21.20: Round 4: Navarro gets through with a left hook to the body which Murray takes offence to and responds with a swift one-two.

The St Helens man has his hands low at several points in the round as if now unconcerned by his opponent's power.

A couple of decent exchanges ensue but nothing to get us on the edges of our seats. 10-9.

21.25: Round 5: Murray
senses blood now that he's worked our his opponent.

He lands with a
right then a left and then with 50 seconds remaining, peppers Navarro's
marked face but the visitor stays standing 10-9

21.27: Round 6: ALL OVER! Murray looks
impressive when he lets his hands go and Navarro is down again after
another big right.

He rises on eight but its only a matter of time and
he is put out of his misery his corner, they throw in the towel after another unanswered
barrage.

Easy does it: Martin Murray holds his arms aloft with the WBA Interim Middleweight Title in Manchester

Easy does it: Martin Murray holds his arms aloft with the WBA Interim Middleweight Title in Manchester

21.30: Once he started letting his hands go, Murray was impressive but as suspected, Navarro wasn't up to much.

Murray hopes to fight again before taking on Martinez in what will be his toughest assignment to date by a long way.

Next up… Ricky 'The Hitman' Hatton is back!

21.35: We actually have another bout before Hatton. highly-rated Adam Etches will be in action in an eight-round middleweight contest.

21.50: Etches has won his fight. Hatton is on track to be in the ring at 22.00.

Hold onto your hats!

21.55: Michael Buffer is ringside and preparing to step through the ropes to announce the fight.

Heavyweight champion David Price is also in the audience. This should be a cracker!

21.59: Buffer
enters the ring to a rapturous reception. I can only imagine what this
is going to be like when Hatton steps back into the ring.

22.01: The crowd are in full voice now! 'There's only one Ricky Hatton… Walking in a Hatton Wonderland!'

There's a real din in the MEN now.

Ringside,
there's a few celebrities too. Boxing greats Roberto Duran, Joe
Calzaghe as well as former footballers Paul Dickov and John Hartson!

Hatton will be out in just a few minutes now!

22.07: They are still not out. With all this noise, I hope Senchenko hasn't bottled it!

22.08: The
crowd have just caught a glimpse of Hatton waiting to come out on the
screens. He's pacing in the dressing room in his blue-trimmed shorts.
They let out a massive roar!

22.10: This is a 10-round fight at welterweight.

If
the Hitman wins this one, he could face old foe Paulie Malignaggi in a
home and away two-bout showdown starting in New York in spring.

22.14: Senchenko will come out first. He only lost his world title to Malignaggi six months ago in his only career defeat.

He
is taller than Hatton and boxes behind the jab, but if Hatton's as
sharp as he says he is, expect to see him get inside the Ukrainian and
stop this fight late on after a tirade to the body.

22.16: Senchenko, on cue, is on his way out. Cue a chorus of boos from the partisan crowd.

Here he comes: Ricky Hatton makes his long awaited return to the ring

Here he comes: Ricky Hatton makes his long awaited return to the ring

22.20: Here he is! The 34-year-old comes out as the 20,000 fans join in the chorus of Blue Moon!

Hatton is, of course, a lifelong Manchester City fan.

He
joins Senchenko in the ring. It's hard to resist joining in to be
honest. The decibel level rises again as he enters the ring.

But can he roll back the years Over to Michael Buffer again, with both fighters in the ring.

22.23: Hatton is pacing the ring, and Senchenko reveals he's wearing a MANCHESTER UNITED shirt! Cheeky.

Buffer can barely be heard above the din. But they all tune in – and join in – for the 'Let's get ready to rumble!'

22.29: Round 1: We're underway and Hatton has completed his first round in three and a half years.

The
Hitman and Senchenko are battling for the initiative. Hatton catched
his opponent flush on more than one occasion and relentlessly stalks the
Ukrainian, edging the round 10-9.

22.33: Round 2: So much for a more defensive Hatton! He is still that all-action fighter we know and love, with some wild shots coming in.

He has Senchenko in trouble with a sharp left-right, but the visitor shows a little bravado and beckons the Mancunian on.

Hatton is looking good, but must be wary of the taller fighter. 10-9.

Malignaggi has moved to ringside from the pundits' box. Is he preparing to greet the Hitman after an early finish

22.37: Round 3: Hatton is well on top in the third. He's got Senchenko rockingwith a left hook and then a straight right.

The
Ukrainian makes out he's not hurt but he must be. This fight is going
the right way for Ricky, but he's still catching a few of his own.
Senchenko lands a straight flush on the chin late in the round. 10-9.

22.41: Round 4: That was his best round yet. Senchenko tries to showboat again as he holds his arms out after taking a huge hit.

The
final minute is all Hatton though. A right to Senchenko's face, then
hatton pushes him against the ropes and delivers an uppercut.

Hatton smells blood here, and the home crowd are baying for a knockout. He must be patient though.

Senchenko will be hoping he'll tire after three years off!

Ouch: Hatton delivers a blow to Senchenko's body

Ouch: Hatton delivers a blow to Senchenko's body

22.45: Round 5: Senchenko
takes that round. Hatton was a little more sluggish, which could be a
worry for the Mancunian. That was a closer round, but the Briton is
still up in this one for me.

Both fighters are marked, but nothing serious at the half-way point. 10-10.

22.50: Round 6: That
was a worrying round for Hatton. He ships a big right hand and then
slips while attempting a wild left which misses by a mile.

He needs to get those hands back up and fight smart. He was picked off a number of times in the sixth.

There's still four rounds to go and he's got it on points… as it stands. 9-10

At his mercy: Hatton started the fight well but let up as the rounds went on

At his mercy: Hatton started the fight well but let up as the rounds went on

22.54: Round 7: Another round to Senchenko but he does have a nasty cut under his left eye.

He
is beating Hatton to the punch with worrying regularity. The crowd are
really backing Hatton though. It's the jab that does it this time, and
forces Hatton to chase Senchenko down to hit back. 9-10.

22.57: Round 8:
A better round for Ricky, but he is trying too hard for the KO to
impress the fans. A better fighter than Senchenko would have punished
him by this point.

Hatton needs to get through these final two rounds, learn from this and have a warm up fight before taking on Malignaggi. 10-10.

23.02: ROUND 9: HATTON CAN'T GET UP! Hatton is down on his knees after taking a heavy body shot.

He can't beat the count and the
referee stops it. It's over! Hatton's comeback ends in crushing
disappointment after Senchenko ends his night early.

Hatton collapses on the mat and his team are in the ring and to his aid.

He's OK and eventually gets up, but he's crying his eyes out. Emotional scenes and that's surely it from Ricky Hatton.

The Hitman embraces Senchenko and that is that.

23.07: Buffer announces Senchenko as the winner. Some of the fans are booing the Ukrainian.

That's a little harsh. He won fair and square. Perhaps the Manchester United shirt didn't help.

Devastation: Hatton is crushed after being knocked out by a body blow

Devastation: Hatton is crushed after being knocked out by a body blow

Manny Pacquiao: Ricky Hatton comeback is a mistake

Pacquiao on Hatton's return: I respect Ricky but he's making a big mistake

|

UPDATED:

13:42 GMT, 21 November 2012

Ricky Hatton is making a big mistake returning to the ring this Saturday. That is the verdict of Manny Pacquiao, the man whose knockout blow consigned the two-weight world champion into retirement three years ago.

The Hitman makes his big comeback this Saturday against Ukraine's former WBA welterweight king Vyacheslav Senchenko in front of a sell-out crowd at Manchester Arena.

But Pacquaio, who brutally defeated Hatton inside two rounds at the MGM Grand in May 2009, thinks the 34-year-old should have stayed away from the ring for good and insisted it is not something he will ever do once he walks away.

Comeback: Ricky Hatton undergoes his final preparations with his trainer Bob Shannon before Saturday's big return

Comeback: Ricky Hatton undergoes his final preparations with his trainer Bob Shannon before Saturday's big return

'I do not think it is a good idea to come back once a fighter has retired. It’s not something I plan on doing,' said Pacquaio, quoted in the Daily Express.

'I know how hard it is to get back into good boxing shape after being out of the training camp for only three or four months.'

Pacquiao is preparing for his first fight since controversially losing his WBO welterweight title to Timothy Bradley last June with a fourth fight against rival Juan Manuel Marquez next month in Las Vegas.

Blow: Manny Pacquiao destroyed Hatton inside two rounds in May 2009

Down and out: Manny Pacquiao destroyed Hatton inside two rounds in May 2009 (celebrating, below)

Down and out: Pacquiao celebrates his win over Hatton in May 2009

Despite voicing his concerns over Hatton's return, the Filipino legend insisted he respects the Manchester fighter's decision.

'I cannot imagine what it is like after a number of years,' Pacquaio added.

'It’s not just the conditioning, it’s the reflexes, legs, mental conditioning, and so much more.

'But this is Ricky’s decision to make and I respect him for it.'

Crunch test: Hatton will collide with Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Manchester Arena

Crunch test: Hatton will collide with Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Manchester Arena

Ricky Hatton exclusive interview – I want to redeem myself

Ricky Hatton exclusive: 'I want to redeem myself. I want my kids to be proud of me'

|

UPDATED:

22:46 GMT, 19 November 2012

The house that Ricky built stands up the road from the tough council estate where he grew up and from which he came out fighting.

Electronic gates open on to the driveway where he parks his Bentley but it still matters hugely to the Hitman that the fruits of his punishing labours do not cut him off from his gnarled roots deep in the suburbs of Manchester.

If you want to find the real Ricky Hatton go to Hyde — and seek. It is worth the journey to remind yourself there is no less spoiled, more honest sportsman in the land.

Hard work: Ricky Hatton is just days away from making his comeback in Manchester

Hard work: Ricky Hatton is just days away from making his comeback in Manchester

Who else would call his home Heartbreak Hotel Part tribute to Elvis Presley, part deference to the blows his hard old game inflicts.

Who else would have spent many days since he announced his comeback telling everyone interested that his girlfriend had to stop him slitting his wrists because he felt he had let down her, the kids, his fans and the country

Go also to be reassured — despite the scandal and self-destruction into which he descended during the three years since his last fight — that he is still the Pied Piper of hope for all the worse-off folk who live down the hill.

The 20,000 tickets for Saturday night’s comeback at the Manchester Arena sold out within hours even though the identity of his opponent was unknown.

‘Support like this gives me goose-pimples,’ he says. ‘Always has done. The people see me as one of their own and I am. They know I always give everything I’ve got, win or lose. That’s why they get behind me.’ Just as he gets behind Manchester City.

The sparring on this particular afternoon has been ferocious. ‘More like a proper fight, that was,’ he chuckles after beating up an eastern European duplicate of Vyacheslav Senchenko, the Ukrainian against whom he has to re-prove himself.

In conversation: Hatton talks to the Daily Mail's boxing correspondent Jeff Powell at his gym

In conversation: Hatton talks to the Daily Mail's boxing correspondent Jeff Powell at his gym

In conversation: Hatton talks to the Daily Mail's boxing correspondent Jeff Powell at his gym

The relentless toil was prolonged, too, with Hatton insisting on extra rounds. So we have to hurry back to the house because City v Ajax in the Champions League is coming up on the telly.

There is also work still to do. It is dark, cold and wet but he pulls on the trademark floppy hat and runs back out into the night to join a training partner in their regular 15 sharp sprints up a nearby hill.

As he goes he hugs Jennifer, his lady who stood by him through all the drink and drugs-related madness after his flattening by Manny Pacquiao, and asks: ‘Would you mind getting my tea ready The game will be kicking off.’

The pasta, greenery and tomatoes are duly waiting on the table. Then he and son Campbell are out of the hi-tech kitchen, through the kids’ playroom, past the indoor swimming pool, via the home gym and into the private cinema.

We miss kick-off but no sooner do we sit down than we’re on our feet again, in dismay. Ajax greet us by going two up. ‘What’s happened to defending in this country’ Hatton demands to know, banging the leather arm of his seat.

The Hitman’s link to his fervent public runs through football. The people’s fighter shares their love affair with the people’s game.

Hard at work: Hatton in the gym with his trainer Bob Shannon

Hard at work: Hatton in the gym with his trainer Bob Shannon

So much so that he has named one of the family dogs after an all-time City hero. This Franny Lee bears an uncanny resemblance to the original. He is a short, stocky, lively, lovable Shih Tzu who darts quickly hither and thither like a fox in the box — and has plenty to say for himself.

On City, Hatton says: ‘We’ve raised the bar by becoming champions. We all expect City to win the league again. That’s the No 1 priority for the supporters. I’ve felt all along that we’re still two or three years away from being real contenders for the Champions League. You have to pay your dues in Europe.’

Still, Hatton and son get excited as City come back to draw level with Ajax at 2-2. Then they jump into a high five as they appear to snatch a late winner. But it’s offside. So narrowly that we wonder how the distant linesman could see it. But offside nonetheless.

‘Yeah, OK, it was off,’ says Ricky. ‘Maybe for the best.’ In truth, the Hitman would prefer City to lose to Real Madrid tomorrow night and have done with Europe this time around. He explains: ‘I’d rather we finish bottom of the group than go into that waste of time called the Europa League. Maybe then we can take advantage in the Premier of playing fewer big games than the Reds and the rest through a key stretch of the season.’

Manager Roberto Mancini is on the screen. He is angry about the disallowed goal and the denial of a late penalty but he also looks disoriented.

Support: Hatton's girlfriend Jennifer (right) was distraught when he was knocked out by Manny Pacquiao

Support: Hatton's girlfriend Jennifer (right) was distraught when he was knocked out by Manny Pacquiao

Hatton says: ‘I like Mancini as a man but if it doesn’t come good in the League, I’m afraid it’ll be bye-bye to poor Roberto. Look, I can’t stand all the mugs in the stands who think they could do it better. I played a bit at right half (for the City academy among other teams) and I loved it.

‘I’m no football manager but I can see when a man’s struggling, the way I do in an opponent when I begin to get to him in the ring. Mancini sometimes is in danger of being hung on all these tactical switches of his.’

He takes no pleasure from that, saying: ‘It hurts when it’s one of the family. And unlike United and Chelsea and Arsenal, City are one big family — everyone from the players, coaches and directors to fans and stewards. It’s because we’re always fighting the shadow of big brother up the road at Old Trafford. If we’re going to win we all have to be in it together. So if one of the family can’t do his bit then I’m afraid he’s got to go.’

The family analogy hits home because Hatton has made a personal decision that is far more painful than paying off a multi-millionaire football manager.

The falling out between Ricky and his parents came to an ugly climax the night before he announced his comeback. The split had been festering and his father, Ray, went to Ricky’s gym to confront the issue. It is already a matter of infamous record that Dad took a swing at the lad, who rather than resort to his professional fists called the police.

All smiles: Hatton has turned his life around since deciding to return to the ring

All smiles: Hatton has turned his life around since deciding to return to the ring

Since Ray played for City and first indoctrinated Ricky in the club, many of their nearest are awaiting the reconciliation. They are to be disappointed.

Hatton keeps his counsel about the initial basis for the schism. But he is mortified by reaction on his own doorstep to the revelations of the drink and drug-fuelled excesses into which he sank.

As we sip tea by the hearth, he turns again to Jennifer and talks very candidly: ‘This lady went through more hell than anyone because of me. She had to stop me from killing myself when I had the knife to my wrists. She had more reason to feel angry than anyone but she was the one who stood by me when I needed it most. Never failed me.

‘I was at rock bottom and close to ending my life but Ray and my mum (Carol) never came round. Not once. I’m afraid it’s the finish for me as far as they’re concerned. It’s sad but it’s over. For good. There’s no going back now. Not for me.’

The silence is poignant but brief. He breaks it with a smile: ‘This is my family. Right here.’ A sweep of his tattooed arm takes in Campbell, Jennifer and their infant daughter Millie, as well as Franny Lee and their new puppy, a pet Chihuahua. ‘Look at my guard dogs,’ he says. ‘Such big, hostile beasts.’

The Hitman is laughing again. His comeback was launched out of fear of being remembered as ‘that fat idiot who won world titles but flushed it all down the toilet’. He adds: ‘I want to go down as a champion who redeemed himself, made up for letting everyone down and regained his self-respect. I want my kids to be proud of me.’

Standing in his way: Hatton takes on Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Manchester Arena on Saturday

Standing in his way: Hatton takes on Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Manchester Arena on Saturday

Is Campbell proud of him ‘Course I’m proud of my Dad. Very,’ says this bright, polite youngster. So much so that he is itching to follow him into the ring, adding: ‘I want to be just like him.’

Campbell is a good footballer — a City fan of course — and a promising rugby union hooker. But he wants to fight, and his mother, a former girlfriend of Ricky’s, has issued the terms on which she might relent.

Campbell has come home with a school report card full of As and just the occasional B grade. Excitedly, he tells his Dad: ‘Mum says that when I get straight As I can start boxing.’

You sense Jennifer is thankful the decision is not hers. She was the last of those close to Ricky to approve his comeback.

He says: ‘She was traumatised by the knockouts by Mayweather and Pacquiao. But she’s settled her mind and she’ll be back at ringside.’

She says: ‘At first I wanted him to stay out of it but I came to understand why he has to do this. I also realise that it’s healthier for him to box than live the life he’d fallen into. This time — yes, this time — I believe him when he says he’s a changed man.’

The end Hatton was knocked out cold by Pacquiao in Las Vegas when he last fought

The end Hatton was knocked out cold by Pacquiao in Las Vegas when he last fought

‘We all have to grow up some time,’ says Ricky. ‘This isn’t just a comeback for me, it’s a lifestyle change.’

There is further evidence of that in the effort he makes to restrain the industrial language once he arrives home. He lets only one syllable of vernacular slip all evening and promptly tells Campbell: ‘Don’t do as I do, do as I tell you . . . when I’m not swearing!’ Then adds: ‘Mind you, I was never any trouble at school. I just didn’t study.’

For the most part, Hatton is focused on the ring located up the back stairs at his thriving health club. He admits: ‘I was nervous as a kitten when I first started sparring again. Even though it was only against a couple of kids in the club, I was all over the place.’

With the help of his new trainer, Bob Shannon, it has slowly come back together. He says: ‘I began working out for my health’s sake five months ago so by the time I went into training camp proper I had got off the extra five stones in weight. So for the first time in years I’ve only had to work on my boxing skills and technique. Thanks to that I feel better and stronger than before any fight for a long time. I’m not nervous any longer, I’m excited.’

All change: Hatton has shed the pounds

All change: Hatton has shed the pounds

The gym can be a liar but, from what I saw, the relentless Hatton of old is on his way back, complete with the murderous body punches. So, too, is some of the zigzag head movement which might have kept him away from the blows landed by Mayweather and Pacquiao.

The physical comparisons with football are on his mind later, as we watch City. Hatton says: ‘I wasn’t going to say anything because some of these lads are my mates but when it comes to training they don’t know they’re alive. I go out to the training ground sometimes and what they do isn’t close to what boxers go through. To be honest, none of them would last five minutes in the ring.

‘Good luck to them with their big wages but when I look around this house I’m not only grateful but I know that what we’ve got has come through a lot of very hard work.’

That is why, when you ask what is his finest hour, he does not reach for the tape of his epic victory over Kostya Tszyu, which landed his first world title. Instead he walks us to the swimming pool and says: ‘We never had things like this. So the first day it was filled and I came home and saw Campbell swimming in there with his mates . . . that’s my proudest moment. I’m also glad this place is on my home turf.’

Little Millie has long been in bed by the time we finish talking but as I head into the night I look back to see Ricky, Jennifer, Campbell, Franny Lee and the Chihuahua framed in the bright, warm light of the open door.

Whatever happens on Saturday night, Heartbreak Hotel is the happiest of homes now.

Hatton v Senchenko will be live on Primetime on Saturday from 8pm for 14.95