Ricky Hatton figures he might get emotional on his way to the ring on Saturday, when he returns to boxing to face Vyacheslav Senchenko at Manchester Arena, but says he'll have to channel that into his performance once the bell rings:
"A lot has happened to me and I may shed a tear on the way to the ring on Saturday night. ... When 'Blue Moon' kicks in, I could really be choking them back, but I’ve got to use that in a positive manner and unleash all that on Senchenko. ... And that crowd roaring, which is what I’ve missed more than anything. I’ve got to be the champion I believe I am and hold it all together and channel it. ... I’ve had enough feeling sorry for myself. Everyone knows the story, now I’ve got my nasty, horrible head on. Shit happens to us all."
Hatton (45-2, 34 KO) hasn't fought since May 2009, when he was viciously knocked out by Manny Pacquiao in the second round of their fight in Las Vegas. It's been a hard road back for Hatton, as he's dealt with out of the ring issues including drug and alcohol problems. This year, he's gotten back into the ring, partially to train, and partially to start a potential career as a trainer of other fighters, and when the bug got him, it became pretty clear Ricky would fight again.
Now it's nearly here. In just four days, we'll watch Ricky Hatton walk to the ring for the first time in years.