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'Boxing is Like a Drug' - Speaking to Duke McKenzie MBE

Posted: 08/10/2012 13:36

With 19,000 tickets sold for his comeback fight on November 24 former World Champion Ricky 'The Hitman' Hatton is set for a massive comeback.

More than 3 years since his last fight Hatton will fight Ukrainian boxing sensation Vyacheslav Senchenko to prove his worth, not that he needs to. Hatton won 45 out of his total of 47 fights with a staggering 32 of them won by knock-out, but it appears he may want to alleviate the pains he carries from his last battle in the ring, which ended in Hatton losing after a humiliating defeat by Manny Pacquiao in 2009.

Hatton's comeback has his fans elated, but it is more of a shock than a surprise for those in the profession. Three time world boxing champion and boxing pundit Duke McKenzie MBE admits, 'for the general public Hatton's return is great and exciting, but for the professionals it's not so exciting, I can only see pitfalls and it's a future of doom and gloom for the former world champion.'

Hatton retired after some 'soul searching' and claimed he would never box again. Moving into boxing promotion and focusing on making one of his team of fighters as famous as he was, Hatton has never stopped thinking about what he could have done better in the ring with Pacquiao and blames his last fight for his dramatic downward spiral shortly after. Asked why he is coming back Hatton admits he never wanted to retire. He wishes to 'make Manchester proud again' and believes he is in a confident and positive position .

McKenzie has a very different view - 'Hatton needs a psychologist, he needs someone he knows and loves needs to sit him down and have a good talk to him'

McKenzie's strong views are not without reason, Hatton has admitted contemplating suicide in his darkest moments. In September 2012 Hatton was admitted to the priory rehabilitation clinic to tackle depression, drug abuse and alcohol abuse.

'3 years away and [having] given his body some chronic abuse, you can't cheat in boxing, you don't suddenly get better when you are being beat in the ring'

In his comeback conference Ricky expressed that although he used to 'live to box' he now has to 'box to live'.

'Boxing is like a drug' McKenzie explains 'luckily I'm a realist otherwise I'd also he back in the ring. I've accepted I'm past my sell by date' whereas 'Hatton can't leave it alone he's blinded by the light - more money than sense, the motivation is definitely not financial - Hatton is stubborn, its his way or no way, he's not listening to anyone'

The dream of retiring on a high didn't happen for Hatton, although his entire career was spectacular, his last fight has haunted him. 'People talk of redemption, Hatton didn't walk away broke, he walked away with his hard earned money and his health. He should leave it like that'

McKenzie may seem one sided, but his predictions for Hatton's future start well - 'Hatton will beat this guy. It's a safe fight for him and he will probably beat the next, but then I predict he will lose and lose again. I hope he doesn't get hurt'

Getting hurt is the main problem. Upon his last retirement Hatton walked away a successful fighter, wealthy and most importantly with his health, this time round who knows what or who will retire him.

 

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