Fight fans across the UK may have to wait a little longer for the dream match-up between Amir Khan and Ricky Hatton.
Hatton has targeted Colombian muscleman Juan Urango (22-2, 17 ko´s), the current IBF light-welterweight champion who´m he defeated on points in 2007, and his personal choice for a summer comeback opponent. Juan Manuel Marquez, the tough 36 year old Mexican who holds both the WBA and WBO versions of the lightweight title is also in the frame. His name was first linked as a potential Hatton comeback opponent in November of last year
The former two time IBF light-welterweight champion and WBA welterweight champion said in an interview on Hatton TV;
“I’ve decided to make a comeback and have another fight this year, probably around the summertime this year. There’s been no opponent that has been confirmed yet and there’s been no date confirmed yet. But the point is that I have made my mind up that I’m going to have one more fight.”
Hatton (45-2, 32 ko´s) last fought in May 2009, when he suffered a devastating two round knockout at the hands of Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas. Ricky´s only other defeat was against Floyd Mayweather when he was TKO´d in 10 rounds in December 2007.
Mayweather and Pacquiao are rated as the two best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.
“I’ve had a good break, a good time off and a good time to reflect and put that last fight behind me and really get over it and get my mind straight. I think after the Mayweather defeat I jumped straight into action and I didn’t really perform my best. This time I’ve had a good rest, recharged the batteries and had a really good think. I’m happy to get back at it now. I go on holiday next week with my girlfriend to Australia and then when I get back, although I haven’t got a date yet, I’m going to go straight back into training.”
Hatton has a history of piling on the pounds between fights, and due to his long break from the ring, has added more than usual.
“Weight-wise, I’ve got a little bit more to carry than I normally do. In order to do that, I’m going to go straight into training and shed the weight. When the date comes, I will do my usual 12-week training camp.”
The Manchester Hitman also speculated that he might continue boxing if his comeback was successful.
“I’m going to have one more fight, maybe two more fights,” he added. “It all depends on the performance in the first fight. It would be very foolish of me to say two more fights, three more fights”
He touched upon his controversial training camp under the tutelage of Floyd Mayweather Sr, suggesting that by fight-night he was burnt out.
“It’s always hard coming back from defeat but there were reasons for that (loss to Pacquiao) from the way my training camp went. There were times when I should’ve taken my foot off the gas and I wasn’t allowed to do that. In the latter stages of my training…it took a lot less of a fighter than Manny Pacquiao to knock me out. Bearing that in my mind, that’s what has made me want to come back, because I know things could have gone better. But, you know, we will soon find out.”
Hatton stressed that his comeback would be a short term project.
“I’ve set the wheels in motion for my retirement, so I’m not going to have too many more fights. At the moment I’m only definitely going to have just one more.”
Hatton promised that his comeback opponent would be a quality fighter, and not a ´knock-over` job.
“It’s got to be a top-10 ranked pound-for-pound fighter or a world champion of some sort. We’re looking at the IBF champion Juan Urango, who I’ve already fought and beaten,” Hatton said.
“I could not have one more fight and people look at me and say ´he’s just had this fight just to knock someone over and end his career on top`. If I’m going to end my career I want to end it on top. It’s got to be a big name so I can get my teeth into it.”
The 29 year old Urango is in his second reign as IBF champion. The powerfully built Colombian´s strengths are his stamina and tenacity, plus a cement chin. Despite stopping 17 of his 22 victims, he doesn’t posses concussive punching power. Hatton won handily when the two met as undefeated fighters for Urango´s IBF title in Las Vegas, but at no time did it look as if Hatton might stop Urango, nor was Hatton himself ever in trouble.
The Colombian´s other defeat was a points loss to Andre Berto in an attempt at Berto´s WBC welterweight crown in May last year. In Urango´s last fight, he pounded shop-worn American veteran Randal Bailey to an 11th round TKO in August 2009.