With his bout against Vyacheslav Senchenko still some 45 days away, former jr welterweight champion Ricky Hatton is already looking chiseled, having lost 47 lbs/3.35 stone / 21.3 kg since deciding to step into the ring again.
According to reports, Ricky Hatton is already looking like a lean, mean fighting machine and every bit the mauler who forced Kostya Tszyu to submit in 2005.
Once known for his astounding weight gains between fights, the come-backing slugger some coined "Ricky Fatton" years ago intends to diet and stay trim and fit between bouts, admitting he did himself no favors by blowing up after fights.
Fight aficionado and boxing watchdog Bernie Campbell told FightSaga last summer:
"He (Ricky Hatton) was the poster boy on how to abuse your body in 5 easy ways! Blowing up to 180 lbs between fights. He's a freaking pig! Wait till he gets my age and walks around like that! That's a recipe for a coronary! A real fine example!"
But Ricky Hatton, now 34, promises to shed his lackluster 'Ricky Fatton' image and vows to remain slim and trim between bouts.
And having trimmed down gradually the last several months, Hatton, at least physique-wise, appears to be in mint condition.
Pictured: A chissled Ricky Hatton in training
However, boxing is replete with aging fighters who have come back and "looked the part" physically but were unsuccessful in the ring.
Former heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries, a physical specimen in every sense, stood 6'1" (1.87 m) tall and weighed 225 lbs (102 kg) in 1899 during his prime. After retiring undefeated, Jeffries worked on his farm for 5 years and was seemingly content with life until the public practically demanded him to fight the current heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson.
But the years away from the sport had taken a toll on Jeffries who, after a 5 year layoff, was an 'Adonis' no more. He was out of shape and had ballooned up to a mind-blowing 330 pounds (150 kg).
Pictured: Jim Jeffries: Heavyweight Champion 1899 - 1904
Could Jeffries, revered as the greatest heavyweight champion ever at the time, get in shape for the supremely conditioned champion, Jack Johnson?
Answer: Yes and No
The 35 year old Jeffries threw himself into intense training and, within a year, dropped over 100 lbs. Moreover, he looked every bit the Herculean fighter he once was. The American public went into such a frenzy over his physique, he was actually favored to beat the younger, quicker, more active, technically-superior Jack Johnson.
But Johnson vs Jeffries, which took place July 4, 1910, was more of a spectacle than a fight as the former champion, although muscular and shredded, was no match for the sharper Johnson.
The bout officially ended via TKO in Round 15 but for all intents and purposes it ended much earlier.
Pictured: Heavyweight Legends: Jim Jeffries, left, battles then Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson in 1910
Johnson later remarked that he knew the fight was over in the 4th round when he landed an uppercut to Jeffries' face and saw the look in his eyes. "I knew what that look meant," he said. "The old ship was sinking."
Former Heavyweight Champion John L. Sullivan commented for The New York Times that never had there been a championship contest that was so one-sided.
Looking the part, physically, is great... But its much easier to get your body in shape than it is to be in elite-level "fighting shape."
Fortunately for Ricky Hatton, he's not facing the division's 'Jack Johnson' but Vyacheslav Senchenko is no sluch, by no means!
Today, Ricky Hatton looks the part and that's a good sign for Hatton fans.... On November 24th we'll learn more about where he is with regards to his technique, reflexes, speed, strength, timing and "ring" conditioning.
Hatton's appearance, while impressive and encouraging, shouldn't get fans too excited... At least not yet.