Manny Pacquiao was the last man inside of a boxing ring with Ricky Hatton, at least for a prize fight. That was May 2, 2009, when Pacquiao rolled over Hatton in two rounds, scoring a highlight-reel KO on a left hand that put Hatton down and out -- and ultimately, out of boxing.
With Hatton (45-2, 34 KO) returning to active competition tomorrow against Vyacheslav Senchenko, there have been a lot of mixed feelings. Some are thrilled to have Hatton back. Some are thrilled, but also a bit worried. And some just don't think it's a good idea.
“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. 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.
“I cannot imagine what it is like after a number of years. 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.”
Pacquiao, of course, has plenty on his own plate at the moment, as he gears up to face Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time on December 8. But right now, all eyes are on Ricky Hatton, and tomorrow's big test to find out whether or not he's got something left in the tank. Three-plus years is a long time to be out of boxing and try to stage a comeback. 34 isn't terribly old, but it's sure not young in this game.
We're only 24 hours (give or take) from finding out for sure, one way or the other.