If Ricky Hatton is going to make a comeback, says Floyd Mayweather Jr., he needs to be a lot more serious than he has been in the past. Speaking with the Daily Express, Mayweather had some explicit advice for his former foe:
"He is talking about coming back and, of course, he has every right to do that. What I would say, though, is that it gets harder when you get into your 30s to get into shape. This is a young man’s game. He will have to train a lot harder to get back into the shape he was and he has got to ask himself a lot of questions.
"He has to think long and hard before he steps back to boxing. Every fighter has a right to earn a living and he is entitled to do whatever he wants. I can’t tell him what to do. What I would say, though, is that boxing is tough and rough and you have to be in it 100 per cent, otherwise you have to get out.
"All fighters need a break to get their batteries going again and he is no different. Maybe the rest will do him the world of good. What I do know, is this is a hard enough sport when you are young. It is so much harder to get in shape and stay in shape when you are older."
Mayweather, 33, is actually a little older than Hatton, 31, but has without question taken less abuse and taken better care of himself over their respective boxing careers. Right now, Hatton is considering a June return, which would be about 13 months out of the ring since Manny Pacquiao slaughtered him last year.
Hatton's return is really very interesting. We've talked a bunch about "will he or won't he?"-type stuff, but it's always seemed pretty obvious to me that he was going to come back, and really if anyone expects Ricky Hatton to hang up the gloves for good any time in the next, oh, four or five years, I think they might as well wish upon a star. Hatton is a fighter, like so many before him. Yes, he's getting Hatton Promotions off the ground, and with his standing in British boxing he'll get every opportunity available with that. But Ricky is one of those guys I can't see going out "gracefully." He'll go out when it's obvious he has nothing more left.
And of course Floyd is right. I also find this interesting because I really think we'll see Floyd and Hatton together at events in 25 years, joking around and mugging for cameras. One of those odd couple friendships that can sometimes come out of two guys trying to knock each other out.