Former British boxing idol Ricky Hatton is back in the ring after three years of contemplation since his devastating loss to Manny Pacquiao in May 2009.
Hatton, who has admitted contemplating suicide while battling drug and alcohol addiction after his humiliating loss to Pacquiao, was in Hong Kong recently in the pursuit of his newfound promotional career.
Hatton's only loss before facing Pacquiao in 2009 was against unbeaten WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. He ended his boxing career with a 45-2 (32 KOs) record.
"When I retired it was very, very hard to come to terms with. I had a lot of time on my hands and was worrying 'What am I going to do next?'," Hatton said in a statement on AFP.
Now, Hatton has around 30 fighters in his stable and said he is loving his work as a boxing promoter.
Meanwhile, Hatton has called on his former foes Mayweather and Pacquiao Thursday to face each other in the ring to settle the issue on who really is the better fighter.
Pacquiao and Mayweather have been negotiating for a fight that every boxing fan wants to see but could not come to terms for over two years of negotiations which centered on drug testing protocols and purse splits.
"I've never been shy of wanting to fight the best and I refuse to believe that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are avoiding each other, and don't want to fight, because if they are they are sadly not the champions I thought they were," Hatton told AFP.
"If you want to be the best then you fight the best and those two should fight each other," Hatton said.
"In the ring I know first hand how good they actually are," he said, "Floyd Mayweather was the best in my career and I wanted to fight him." he added.
Hatton also said Mayweather and Pacquiao should face each other in the ring while they are in their primes.
After failing to agree on purse sharing following their informal talks over the phone in which Mayweather offered Pacquiao $40 million guaranteed with no share of PPV revenues and after Pacquiao rejected it by saying it was an "embarrassing" offer, they opted to move on with different opponents.
Mayweather is facing Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico on May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada while Pacquiao goes up against unbeaten Timothy Bradley on June 9, also at the MGM Grand.