British boxing legend Ricky Hatton is in advanced talks over a sensational exhibition comeback fight against 48-year-old great Marco Antonio Barrera, according to reports. The Hitman, who retired for a second time in 2012 following defeat to Vyacheslav Senchenko in Manchester, is targeting a potential return to the ring later this year as discussions between both parties continue.
Hatton regularly ticks over in the gym and is often out on the road running to keep up his fitness levels.
Now an unexpected return to the sport has potentially become a serious proposition as Hatton prepares to follow in the footsteps of fellow boxing legends Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr and Evander Holyfield by coming out of retirement.
The Manchester icon has already made it clear he is supportive of exhibitions, stating last year: “I am all for these dream fights we keep hearing about.
“I have youngsters coming up to me, saying, ‘I’ve watched your fights on video but I never got to see you live!’
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“And I think that is why I’m a fan of these exhibitions.
“You’re not going to see your heroes get seriously hurt, it is a chance to see them showcase their skills one last time and you can raise a bit of money for charity too, so I’m all for it.”
Now The Sun are reporting that Hatton’s team are in advanced discussions with the reps of Barrera over an unlikely matchup, although a deal is yet to have been finalised.
The Mexican Hall of Famer has not fought professionally since 2011 when he successfully stopped Jose Arias in Guadalajara.
Barrera boasts a record of 67 victories and seven defeats – the last of which came in Manchester against Amir Khan in 2009.
Both Hatton and his potential opponent were beaten by Manny Pacquiao during their respective careers but never shared the ring against one another.
The duo did enjoy a close relationship throughout their time within the professional ranks though and in November 2005, Hatton invited Barrera to Sheffield to watch him unify the light-welterweight division against Carlos Moussa.
Ray Hatton, Ricky’s father and trainer at the time told Seconds Out: “Ricky has been over the see a few Barrera fights and Marco really looked after us so we were happy to reciprocate.
“Marco stayed on in England, he came to Manchester and we’ve taken him out for a few meals with his family and we’ve had a great time.”
Now, just over 16 years on, the two legends could be set to climb through the ropes for one last payday.
Hatton has been focusing his efforts on helping other fighters in recent years including his son Campbell, who signed a pro-deal with Matchroom Boxing in December 2020.
The 21-year-old moved to 5-0 in December after outpointing Attila Csereklye in Bilbao after boxing Sonni Martinez in front of over 60,000 fans at Tottenham on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s unsuccessful world title defence against Oleksandr Usyk last September.