Hatton vs Senchenko: Trainer Bob Shannon to guide Hatton through emotional return

Paul Thomas

New trainer Bob Shannon says tonight's Ricky Hatton comeback is also about making a legacy for his family's name in the boxing game, and that he'll be there to guide an emotional Hatton through the big night.

In an interview with Gareth A Davies of the Telegraph, Ricky Hatton's trainer Bob Shannon discusses the comeback bid tonight, and it becomes quite clear that this is about more than just the Ricky Hatton story. There's also the Shannon family legacy, which Bob is hoping to build.

Shannon's son Richard was a licensed trainer at 17 years of age, and his father Robert was a trainer, as well. Both have since passed away. Bob, who feels it was destiny that he wound up in Hatton's corner for this return to boxing, says he's trying to take the family name as far as they could have:

“The funny thing is that I talk to Richard at his grave every week, and his words when he was alive have seemed so poignant. Richard was mature beyond his years. He’d always say, ‘Dad, you’re a great trainer, have faith in your ability, just keep going, the reward will come with great boxers and world champions’. I really do feel it was destiny for me to train Ricky for this fight. Ricky wants to redeem himself, I want to leave a legacy for the Shannon family."

Hatton faces a decent comeback test in Vyacheslav Senchenko, a former welterweight (paper) titlist coming off of his first career defeat. Most of the worries over Hatton's performance are about Hatton, and what kind of shape he's in -- physically and mentally -- and how he'll be able to perform. Few are actually concerned that Senchenko, a safe but not too safe choice, is any particular threat to a good version of Ricky Hatton.

Shannon says he's there to help Ricky through what will surely be a big night emotionally:

“He is going to be very emotional, and he will have thoughts in his head about the last time he walked to the ring all those things play on the mind of a fighter, and so I’m there to guide him through it. ... We’ve done everything we could have. It’s now redemption time for Ricky, and I hope we can shine together.”

Hatton is expected to take to the ring at about 10:15 local time in the UK (5:15 pm EST), and we'll have coverage of the full card starting at 2:00 pm EST on Primetime PPV from the UK, with Showtime airing the main event at 5:00 pm EST in the States.

BLH staff picks: Hatton vs Senchenko

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