'Meanest' Hatton ready for comeback

Ricky Hatton will be at his "meanest and most ferocious" for Saturday's comeback fight against Vyacheslav Senchenko at Manchester Arena.

The 34-year-old former two-weight world champion will fight for the first time in three-and-a-half years in front of a sell-out crowd in the welterweight contest. After well-publicised battles with drink, weight gain and depression that left him suicidal, Hatton knows there are many doubters but, having beaten his demons, he has all the motivation he needs.

"The Ricky Hatton sat here is the meanest and most ferocious Ricky Hatton you've ever seen," he said. "Seven years ago I beat Kostya Tszyu at the Manchester Arena and I was at my hungriest because I had a dream of becoming world champion but the desire I have for this fight is way beyond becoming a world champion."

He continued: "All those world titles mean nothing to me. I'm here to right the wrongs I've done. I know you won't believe me, after burning the candle at both ends, the second-round defeat against Manny Pacquiao, no way can he come back the same. Well I won't come back the same, I'm going to come back better."

Hatton was speaking at the head-to-head press conference at Manchester Town Hall, which was notable for the absence of his Ukrainian opponent, who had decided not to take part.

Only five months ago Hatton weighed 15 stone and was still in the midst of his personal but very public turmoil. He began working with veteran Manchester trainer Bob Shannon 10 weeks ago and insists he has gone about transforming himself back into a fighter in the right way.

He said: "There's a lot of people out there, fight fans and public, that have seen me at 15 stone bouncing round Manchester drunk as a skunk and must have looked at me in disbelief and thought, 'was this the man we used to admire, who won all those world titles'?

"I turned into a very, very sorry state. I feel like I've already won. Five months ago if I said I was going to come back you'd have laughed but I've brought my weight down in the correct way."

Shannon had nothing but praise for the work done by Hatton and has no doubt he will put on a great show for his fans on Saturday.

"It's been an amazing journey and I can honestly say, come Saturday night, it's going to be Ricky Hatton at his best," said Shannon. "We're going to get the legend back."

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