Ricky Hatton officially announced his November 24 return to boxing this morning (we also have the teaser video for the event, called "Pride in Battle"), and at the press conference, he answered the big question: Why is he coming back now?
Thanks to the crew at iFilm London, who do stellar work regularly.
"Thank you everyone for coming. It's great to be back. I think the first thing I can start with is to answer the question of, you know, why have I decided to come back? For me -- where do I start? There's a lot of reasons. A lot of people will say, 'What are you doing it for, Ricky? What do you need to do? You got beat by two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in recent years, your generation. Don't risk your legacy. We don't want to see you get hurt.'
"Which is obviously very nice, for fans and friends to be worried about me from that point of view. But I think if you really do have to ask the question of why am I coming back, I think you really need to have a sit-down and have another think. It's been well documented what has happened to me since the last time everyone saw me in a boxing ring. It was the two round demolition of Manny Pacquiao, which nobody wants to end their career in that way.
"Consequently, it put me into retirement, which I never really ever wanted to do. And it's well documented what happened to me personally over the last three years because of the manner of that last defeat. And basically, I think my life had turned to mush. And bit by bit, I've gone back into the promoting, a bit back into the game which I love, and has done so well for me.
"But it didn't quite exactly fill the void. I get a huge buzz getting opportunities -- when I get my fighters a British title shot, or a European title, or a world title shot, it gives me a huge, massive buzz. But it still didn't fill the gap. And then I decided to take a trainer's license out, and I was in the gym every day of the week, passing on my knowledge, what I've learned in the game, to my fighters. And I think that just started the fire burning, to be honest with you, working with the lads.
"I started looking after myself a little bit better, getting a little bit fitter, and that's basically what it started from. And people say -- listen, I'm not coming back to fight a four-round level and six-round level. I want to fight for world titles. But this comeback for me, if you're wondering why am I doing it. It's worth more than a comeback, it's worth more than any money, it's worth more than winning any amount of world titles, it's worth more to me. Because a lot of people can turn around and say, 'Listen, we think so much of you, Ricky. We don't wanna see you get hurt, we don't wanna tarnish your legacy, we don't wanna see you doing all that,' but they don't know what's been going on between my ears, and what has been happening in my mind.
"There's a lot of things I've got to put to put to bed. Nobody wants their career to end in the way that it ended. I want British boxing to be proud of me again. I want my kids to look at me and say, 'That's my dad there.' We've all had problems. Everyone sat in this room has had problems. But I've had my problems. 'You know what, Ricky, he boxed Kostya Tszyu, he went to Vegas, he done this, he done that' -- I don't want to have people telling my kids, 'But didn't he blow it? Didn't he ruin it?'
"I want my kids to say, 'You know what? He was world champion, he had his problems, but how he bounced back.' I want people to look at me and be proud of me again. I want British sport, I want British boxing, I want my kids, my fans, my friends to be proud of me again. I had problems, and I'm over that now, and I want to come back, and I want people to look at Ricky Hatton in a different light. I don't want them to look at how he flushed his life away. I understand them being concerned about my welfare and everything like that, and it's really, really nice and pleasing to know I've got so many people that care about me.
"But to answer the question, why am I coming back, I think it's a very, very easy decision. And I think you all know deep down. If you think about it a little bit closer, I think you know why I'm coming back. I'm in a fantastic place. I've not felt this hunger and this desire, because of the reasons for coming back.
"When I fought Kostya Tszyu at the Manchester Arena, all them many moons ago, which it seems was my best fight -- Kostya needed a Harley-Davidson and two baseball bats to beat me that night. Nothing would have stopped me that night. People said to me at the time, 'You've climbed Mount Everest. How are you going to psyche yourself up from here on in?' I became a two-weight world champion, and fights in Vegas, and at the City of Manchester Stadium, and the Castilo fight. I climbed that mountain several times.
"But to be honest with you, I think even towards the latter end of my career, I lost that little bit of a hunger. When you're financially secure, and you've achieved all your goals, and everything like that -- we're all only human. I think I lost that little bit of drive. And believe you me, it's come back, because I'm fighting for a different reason. I'm fighting to redeem myself. I'm fighting to put a bit of goodness back in the sport.
"What's happened recently, we're having a great chapter of British sport at the minute, with the Olympics, and the Paralympics, and the greatest football team in the world happened to win the Premiership last year. And all these things together, I've got the juices flowing again to get back at this sport. Not just to win world titles. Of course I want to win world titles, but it's bigger than that.
"I think the one line I can sum it up is, I lived to box, I box to live now. That's what I wanna do. And I want everyone in this room, whether it be press, sports fans, boxing fans, whether it be friends, family, and my kids, I want them to look at me and be proud again. Ricky Hatton's redeeming himself. It's not about money. It's not about winning a world title. It's more than that to me. And I hope you can understand in listening to my words now, you'll know exactly where I'm coming from, and why I'm sat at this table now.
"I wanna do Manchester proud again. I wanna bring the world title back."