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Ricky Hatton will return as a welterweight

This is no great shock, and there's not a lot to it, but the Daily Express reports that former junior welterweight world champion and welterweight titlist Ricky Hatton will begin training in February for a return at 147 pounds. The report says that Juan Manuel Marquez is his top target, but that is looking more and more unlikely. It's doubtful Marquez wants to fight at 147 again, and Golden Boy seems to be targeting Michael Katsidis and Juan Diaz for Marquez's tentative May 1 return bout.

Hatton has fought twice at 147, losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and controversially defeating Luis Collazo.

For Hatton, there are actually plenty of fights I'd like to see at welterweight that involve him. I don't think he's going to get into the elite ranks of the division, and you can argue, "Hey, there's nothing to fight for, he's made his money." Some guys don't just fight for the money. Hatton might well be one of them.

Surely he'll take a tune-up fight, and I wouldn't bet against Michael Jennings filling that role for him. He's a credible domestic welterweight. Jennings was to face Kell Brook on February 13, but is out of that bout. After that, you have Lovemore N'dou holding the IBO title, and N'dou just drew with Ricky's brother Matthew in November. Sugar Jackson Bonsu lost his last major fight. Selcuk Aydin and Hatton could battle in my long-desired fight between guys with T-Rex arms.

I'd still like to see Ricky against Zab Judah. Hell, a rematch with Collazo would be interesting if Hatton's up to it (I think Collazo clearly beats him this time). Maybe even a Cotto-Hatton cash-out fight late in the year.

I know a lot of people are drawn to playing parent with fighters, but I don't think Hatton is in any immediate danger of getting hurt, so why shouldn't he fight if he wants to fight? He's all of 31 years old, hasn't suffered the sort of visible damage that someone like Jermain Taylor has, and has only lost to the two best fighters of the entire last decade. If he can handle it and isn't in medical danger, what's stopping him? Hatton's a fighter who wants to fight.

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