Ricky Hatton has announced he’ll return to the boxing ring, a decade after his retirement from the sport.
The Hitman, 43, has agreed to an exhibition bout against boxing legend Marco Antonio Barrera.
The Stockport-born former world champion will be back in front of his home crowd at the AO Arena this summer.
Taking place on 2 July, Hatton said the fight – his first since 2012 – is a ‘dream’.
It will be in support of mental health charity Andy’s Man Club, and the sportsman hopes it will lift spirits after the pressures of lockdown.
Hatton said: “It’s been a tough time for all of us and I’ve lost friends through mental health due to COVID.
“Now we’ve almost come out the other end it’s going to be a nice thing to do for the fans – and more like a festival than a boxing show.
“Hopefully it can also show people what they can achieve if they just get off their sofas and put themselves out there.”
He added: “I know my days are numbered but it doesn’t matter how old you are, you still have to keep setting yourself targets to get out of bed at four in the morning and train – and that’s what I’ve been doing.”
He posted on Twitter: “I can confirm my return to the ring. Join me for a huge party night – with top music acts – in Manchester on July 2. #HitmanRises.
“It’s not how you fall, it’s how you rise…”
48-year-old Barrera will fly into the UK for a news conference on Sunday ahead of the eight-round exhibition fight.
Hatton said: “He’s a great friend and neither of us will be taking liberties – but Marco will definitely be coming over here to try to give me a boxing lesson – and that’s where the competitiveness will kick in.
“We’ll both be putting on a show for everyone.”
MMA stars Dan Hardy, Diego Sanchez will also feature on a celebrity-packed bill which will also feature music from Tion Wayne and Bad Boy Chiller Crew.
Grealish holds his hands up over Almirón dig: ‘I do stupid stuff’
Jack Grealish has finally held his hands up after mocking Miguel Almirón, assuring that while he has made mistakes in career, he has a “good heart”.
Speaking to the media at the national camp in Qatar, the footballer was asked about his now-infamous dig at the Newcastle player, quipping that teammate Riyad Mahrez “played like Almirón” in a sub-par performance during Manchester City‘s 2021/22 title-winning match back in May.
Ironically, Grealish‘s Almiron joke has preceded an incredible run of form from the winger this year, arguably being their player of the season with eight goals to his name already.
Despite the 28-year-old insisting he has “never really paid attention” to what people say about him, he will have inevitably seen the viral clip.
Nevertheless, the England and City star took accountability for the unnecessary outburst, confessing, “I do stupid stuff, that was one”, whilst assuring: “Obviously I’ve done stupid stuff in my life but I think everything that I do good is from my heart.”
The 27-year-old went on to say that describe his Premier League peer as a “great player”, adding: “what a guy… if that was me and somebody had said that about me, I’d have probably been the other way and been like: ‘f*** it'”.
While he said he didn’t think the drunken video would go public, he knows it wasn’t the most professional of moments and that not only is he “buzzing” to see Almirón playing so well but that he will be sure to “show him the most respect” the next time they meet on the pitch.
An MP took the mick out of Harry Maguire in Ghanaian parliament and we can’t get over it
Hello and welcome to another edition of ‘Headlines We Never Thought We’d Write’. In this week’s episode, a Ghanaian MP mocked Harry Maguire in the middle of parliament and we want answers.
Now, if you’re coming here looking for answers as to exactly why a random politician all the way over on the other side of the world, of all people, chose to mock Harry Maguire in Ghanaian parliament, we’ll stop you right there: we’re just as confused as you are.
That being said, let’s go on this journey together.
Here is Ghana’s Isaac Adongo, MP for the Bolgatanag Central, going in on the Sheffield-born United defender as a way of digging out the opposition:
As you can see in the rather surreal two-and-a-half-minute clip, Adongo is taking aim at the government’s Vice President and Head of the Economic Management Team, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, when he decides to use the 29-year-old centre-back as a simile.
The MP explains that despite being perceived as one of the best defenders in the league when the club signed him, he went on to become “the biggest threat at the centre of Man United‘s defence”. Ouch.
Adongo goes on to add that Maguire was “tackling Manchester United players and giving assists to [his] opponents”, joking that even if they missed “he would score for them” and dubbing Bawumia the “economic Maguire” for scoring own goals against his own nation. Deary me.