Richie Woodall talks Hatton comback

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As Ricky Hatton’s comeback rapidly approaches, we sat down with commentator and former WBC Super Middleweight champion, Richie Woodhall to discuss the 24th November contest.

We began by asking what made Hatton so exciting to watch;

“Ricky was a fighter who was always willing to take a shot to land a shot. That makes for exciting fights and the public really took to him.”

“He will always sit there in the short to mid-range, up close and on top of his opponent. That’s something he won’t look to change, he won’t hang back and that’s what makes this fight so exciting.”

Hatton has now been out of the ring for 3 years, can he comeback at his best after such a long absence?

“Only time will tell, this contest will be a good measuring stick.”

“ I think it’s a good fight because this fella is a couple of years older than Ricky, if it gets tough he’ll be thinking this guy is older than me, and that’ll give him a psychological boost.”

“It’s going to be difficult to reach the heights again. After three years out it’s going to take a little bit of time and that’s not something he has on his side. He’s going right in at the deep-end. This is a fight he could win, and he should win, but it won’t be an easy fight.”

“All the troubles outside of the ring are now behind him. Coming back has given him the focus he needed. He’s back to a place where he wants to be, with his focus and attention solely on training, which has always been best for him.”

How do you view his partnership with trainer Bob Shannon?

“The trainer that brought the best out of Hatton was Billy Graham. They were together for years and he was with him at those special nights like the Kostya Tszyu fight.”

“Training with Mayweather worked to a degree and he did learn a couple of new things with him. The defeats did come under Mayweather but they were against the two top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, and there’s no shame in that.”

“Bob Shannon is in my opinion a very good trainer and very experienced. What you see is what you get with Ricky Hatton and I think that while Shannon will tweak him it will be all about just getting the very best out of Ricky Hatton.”

What are your thoughts on the opponent chosen for his in ring return?

“I was surprised in that realistically, to come back against that level of opponent is a big ask. I would have expected a slightly easier fight to get him back into the swing of things.”

“But, knowing Ricky as I do, I wasn’t surprised. He wanted to come back to a hard fight to show he means business.”

“No matter how you look at it, it’s a difficult contest. Senchenko has only lost once to Malignaggi, who of course Ricky beat. Hatton will have looked at this and said if Malignaggi can beat him I can beat him.”

“It’s a tough, tough, fight for him. I think sometimes Ricky forgets he’s been out for years.”

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