As a likable ‘Hitman,’ Ricky Hatton claims to be over Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather losses and ready to continue fighting his personal demons

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It’s hard to root against Ricky Hatton.

Claiming to have a grasp on his personal and professional problems, former WBA welterweight and IBF light welterweight champion Ricky Hatton is excited to return to the squared circle after a three year hiatus to scrap Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko on November 24 at the Manchester Arena in England.

Hatton (45-2, 32 KOs), awarded the 2005 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year, hung up his gloves after sustaining a vicious second round knockout loss to Manny Pacquiao in May 2009.

“The Hitman,” who has only been trumped professionally by prizefighting greats Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) and Floyd Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs), acknowledged abusing drugs and alcohol to combat suicidal thoughts after retiring.

Hatton, who reported experiencing frequent blackouts during his daylong benders, was stripped in September 2010 of his boxing license by the British Boxing Board of Control after being found guilty of misconduct for drug use.

“People are saying: ‘You had a good career, Ricky, you don’t need to be ashamed of it because you got beat by Mayweather and Pacquiao’. And people say, ‘Ricky, you are a legend’. But I feel a failure because of what I did in that time gap. That’s why I came back,” said Hatton, 34, whose most impressive triumph came when he took the IBF light welterweight belt from International Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu by TKO in June 2005. “That’s not how I envisaged my career ending and that’s not how I wanted my kids to remember me.”

The 35-year-old Senchenko (32-1, 21 KOs) is a tough Ukrainian whose only defeat came at the hands of WBA welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi last April.

“Whatever happens on November 24 I’ve already won,” said Hatton, whose upset over Tszyu (31-2, 25 KOs) is hailed by many analysts as the most spectacular victory by an English boxer in decades.

Ricky Hatton is a likable “Hitman” and it’s accurate to suggest that “whatever happens on November 24 (he’s) already won.”

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