Ricky Hatton: Ambitious Brit Needs Tune-Ups Before SuperFightsWritten by Lee Cleveland
"If all goes well with me against Senchenko and if Paulie (Malignaggi) wins on the 20th, then he will still be a world champion, so he will be one of the world title holders that I will be looking at," Hatton told World Boxing News.
The former jr welterweight champ added, "Timothy Bradley is also a world champion so I would consider fighting him too, but first things first, I need to beat Senchenko before I can talk about boxing for a world title."
Ricky Hatton hasn't had his first comeback bout yet and is already talking about potential fights against two champions, one of which is a top 10-12 pound-for-pound fighter, in the near term.
And yes, Tim Bradley is rated No. 8 by RING Magazine and No. 10 by FightSaga.
While its admirable Hatton was to thrust himself back into the world of the elites and fight for the 'big cookies' right away, is it sensible?
At only 33, Ricky Hatton can make a successful return to the ring and attain championship glory but patience will be a much-needed virtue. He hasn't fought in 3 years and will likely experience some ring rust.
Sure he can fight but how will he perform against an "elite" welterweight given all the time away? Will his reaction time, rhythm, overall timing and accuracy be there?
Will he be prepared mentally?
Moreover, since Ricky Hatton will be competing at welterweight, which is 7 lbs north of the division he's most used to fighting in, he'll be facing taller fighters with a longer reache and more power.
And at welterweight, Ricky Hatton is 1-1. He was knocked out by Floyd Mayweather in 2009 and won a narrow but unanimous decision against 5'9"/175cm Luis Collazo three years earlier - And many fans questioned the decision in the Collazo bout.
How will Ricky Hatton adjust in this new division?
Does Ricky Hatton really want to fight Malignaggi or Bradley after next after Senchenko?
Hatton should fight a few tune-ups before getting in the ring with a world class opponent or pound-for-pound fighter. Some in the public and the media will criticize him for it, but quality tune-ups will suitably prepare him for much bigger tasks against the likes of Malignaggi, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Tim Bradley and Robert Guerrero.
Even Mike Tyson, after his four year incareration, had four tune-ups before facing Evander Holyfield. And yes, even though Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon held world titles, they were - for all intents and purposes - "tune-ups" for the division's big guns: Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, Lennox Lewis, George Foreman and Tommy Morrison.
If Hatton defeats Senchenko, he should have at least 2-3 more bouts against mid-tier opponents he matches up well against and probably plan for a superfight fight in November or December 2013.
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.