It's here: Ricky Hatton returns to boxing this afternoon in Manchester, facing Vyacheslav Senchenko in a 10-round welterweight fight. BLH has live round-by-round coverage of the full card, starting at 2:00 pm EST.
Today at 2:00 pm EST, we'll go live with round-by-round coverage of the full Ricky Hatton comeback bill in Manchester, which will air on Primetime pay-per-view in the UK starting then, with US viewers getting the main event live on Showtime at 5:00 pm EST.
Here's the full rundown of the card.
Main Event - Welterweights - 10 rounds
Ricky Hatton (45-2, 34 KO) vs Vyacheslav Senchenko (32-1, 21 KO)
Expected fight time: 5:15 pm EST
Ukraine's Senchenko has lost just once, but it was his last fight, when he was dominated by Paulie Malignaggi. Now he hits the road. As much as this fight is about redemption and pride for Hatton, Senchenko is trying to prove something, too. A win here would be enormous for his career, no matter if Hatton just looks terrible or not.
Obviously the story is Hatton, though. Fighting for the first time since 2009, he remains one of the biggest stars in the sport, period, and British boxing's biggest name. A win here and he likely moves on to face Malignaggi for the WBA welterweight title, a rematch of their 2008 bout, which Hatton won handily.
Middleweights - 12 rounds (Interim WBA title)
Martin Murray (24-0-1, 10 KO) vs Jorge Navarro (12-0, 10 KO)
Expected fight time: 4:00 pm EST
With a win here, Murray is expected to land a fight in Argentina next spring against world champion Sergio Martinez. But if that doesn't come through, then picking up the interim WBA belt also puts him in line with that sanctioning body. Daniel Geale was recently stripped of the full title, which was bogus, and some expect Felix Sturm will get first crack at the vacated full title.
Navarro, from Venezuela, hasn't fought anyone of note. That doesn't mean he can't fight, but most likely he's been picked for a reason.
Super Bantamweights - 12 rounds (Interim WBA title)
Scott Quigg (24-0-1, 17 KO) vs Rendall Munroe (24-2-1, 10 KO)
Expected fight time: 3:00 pm EST
Quigg, 24, is one of the really bright young hopes on the Hatton Promotions roster, a fighter I'm sure everyone in the UK would love to have in their stable. Munroe, 32, has been a standout at 122 in the UK for years now, a former Commonwealth and European champion who still believes he's the country's best in the weight class. This is a rematch, as the two met earlier this year and it ended in a draw when a cut stopped the action in the third round. Hopefully, we get the fight we've been anticipating this time out. This could be the show-stealer.
Super Featherweights - 12 rounds (British title)
Gary Buckland (26-2, 8 KO) vs Stephen Foster Jr (30-3-1, 18 KO)
Expected fight time: 2:00 pm EST
A fine domestic matchup, this one. Foster briefly held the European title from November 2010 until February 2011, and has won two straight against limited foes since dropping that belt to Ermano Fegatili. Buckland has bounced around weight classes a bit in his career, but has settled in for now at 130 pounds, beating Gary Sykes in 2010 (a Prizefighter upset) and 2011 (which netted Buckland the British title). Buckland is on a bit of a roll at the moment.
Junior Middleweights - 12 rounds (European title)
Sergey Rabchenko (21-0, 16 KO) vs Cedric Vitu (35-1, 15 KO)
Expected fight time: 1:00 pm EST
Rabchenko, who is usually trained by Hatton nowadays, stopped and ultimately retired Ryan Rhodes earlier this year to win the European belt. Born in Belarus, he has moved his boxing career to the UK as part of Hatton's team. He's a talented fighter. France's Vitu doesn't have the most impressive names on his W-L sheet, but before you totally count him out, don't forget another recent French "bum" who showed up and gave James DeGale plenty to think about, Hadillah Mohoumadi. This fight won't be aired live on Primetime, it would appear.