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Ricky Hatton Comeback: Former Boxing Champ Comes Out Of Retirement

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RICKY HATTON
This May 1, 2009 file photo shows British boxer Ricky Hatton gesturing at the weigh-in for his junior welterweight boxing match against Manny Pacquiao, in Las Vegas. Former light-welterweight champion Hatton is set to come out of retirement after three years, having called a news conference to make a "major announcement" on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. | AP

MANCHESTER, England -- Former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton came out of retirement on Friday, seeking redemption following a loss by Manny Pacquiao in 2009 that sent the Briton into retirement and his life to "mush."

Hatton, who won titles in the light welterweight and welterweight divisions, formally retired last year with a 45-2 record having been stripped of his boxing license in 2010 following newspaper revelations of drug use.

The 33-year-old Hatton slipped into depression and considered suicide while trying to come to grips with the second-round knockout by Pacquiao in May 2009.

But a leaner, hungrier Hatton will return to the ring for a comeback fight on Nov. 24 in Manchester, against an as-yet-unnamed opponent.

"No one wants to end their career that way," Hatton said. "It put me into retirement, which I never wanted to do. The manner of that defeat put me into some things which have been well documented ... my life turned to mush.

"The dream is redemption," he added. "If a world title comes with it, then so be it."

Robert Smith, general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, has said Hatton will be granted a new license once a medical examination is completed.

During his time away from fighting, Hatton has been running his own promotions company and started to train some of the boxers he represented. However, it couldn't replace the real thing.

"I got a huge buzz getting opportunities for my fighters and I was in the gym every day of the week passing on the knowledge – but it didn't fill the gap," Hatton said.

"This is more than a comeback. It's worth more than money."

Hatton, whose other loss came against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007, was famous for his powerful body punches, his fluctuating weight and his vocal, dedicated following from his home city of Manchester.

He first became world champion in 2001, winning the lightly regarded WBU light-welterweight title, and secured his biggest victory by stopping Kostya Tszyu to take the IBF light-welterweight belt from the Australian.

The knockout by Mayweather Jr. ended his run of 43 wins and his career faltered from there.

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