Ricky Hatton vs Senchenko Confirmed for Comeback, No Easy FightWritten by Lee Cleveland
The wait is over. The 33 year-old Ricky Hatton, who hasn't fought in three years, will fight Vyacheslav Senchenko on November 24th.
Hatton, a jr welterweight previously, will compete in the talent-rich welterweight division.
So much for Michael Katsidis... at least for November 24.
Ricky Hatton promised he'd fight only quality opponents on his comeback and would not consider unheralded journeymen.
So how does Senchenko rate?
Answer: Medium/High Risk
Ricky Hatton is certainly keeping his word thus far. His opponent is, by no means, low-risk.
Vyacheslav Senchenko (32-1, 21 KO), from Donetsk, Ukraine, won the WBA Lightweight title in April 2009 and successfully defended it three times before losing to Paulie Malignaggi via a 9th Round stoppage in April. Senchenko was rated No. 5 in the world by The RING Magazine prior to the loss.
The tall, lean Senchenko is 5' 10"/178cm and possesses a reach of 70"/178cm. In essence, the Ukraninan boasts a 3 inch height and 5 inch reach advantage over Hatton.
But despite his impressive record, the Freddie Roach-trained Senchenko has yet to defeat a 'name' fighter - However, he's proven to be tough, disciplined and technically sound.
Senchenko, currently the No,1 Ukrainian welterweight in the world (No. 33 overall by BoxRec), was tentatively scheduled to fight "Canelo" Alvarez in 2010 but negotiations fell through. There were also rumblings of a Pacquiao vs Senchenko bout in 2012 as a result of the alleged large sums of money PacMan would receive from fighting in Ukraine.
Pictured: Freddie Roach, the trainer of Vyacheslav Senchenko
Courtesy Chris Farina, Top Rank
"In the event they meet, (Pacquiao and Senchenko) Manny will win easy."
"I remember legends like Sugar Ray Robinson when in the course of winding up their careers, they would go to fight in different countries and earn big purses. If Manny wants to do that, Ukraine would be a good destination, said Freddie Roach last year."
Senchenko, now 35, also represented Ukraine at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, boxing as a Light Welterweight (63,5 kg).
Ricky Hatton's new opponent last fought in April, losing to Paulie via a 9th Round stoppage as a result of a bruised and swollen face and badly cut and completely closed left eye.
The Ukrainian, the WBA Welterweight Champion at the time, was a 4-1 favorite in that bout.
Pictured: Vyacheslav Senchenko, left, and fight legend Kostya Tszyu
Malignaggi used rapid combinations from angles, and offered no target with fast movement to outbox the slow moving Senchenko. The American also used an accurate jab and fast combinations in the early going to break the nose of the then-unbeaten Senchenko.
But Ricky Hatton, unlike Paule, is a mauler. The Manchester native doesn't have the technical skills, height, speed, reach or footwork to outbox Senchenko the same way Malignaggi did.
Does Hatton expect to knockout his Ukrainian foe? Senchenko has only been stooped once in 33 bouts and it was the result of lacerations and a swollen eye. He's never been pummelled into submission.
Obviously Team Hatton saw something they believe they can exploit. Perhaps its weak skin?
Ricky Hatton vs Vyacheslav Senchenko will be very interesting.
Senchenko is an impressive choice for Ricky Hatton... Perhaps too impressive for first bout on his comeback trail.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.