Ricky Hatton vs Marco Antonio Barrera
RICKY Hatton has confirmed his return to the ring - with a fight against fellow boxing legend Marco Antonio Barrera.
The Hitman, 43, has not fought since 2012 but has agreed to an exhibition bout in front of his home city crowd in Manchester, on July 2.
He said: "This is a dream for me. 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."
The former two-weight world champion is still a fans' favourite after a memorable career which saw standout victories over Kostya Tszyu, Jose Luis Castillo and Juan Urango.
He also gave Floyd Mayweather Jr a tough fight in a fight which saw 40,000 British fans fly to Las Vegas to cheer him on.
Barrera, 48, will be flying into the UK for a news conference on Sunday lunchtime ahead of the eight-round exhibition bout.
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.
Hatton hopes the Hitman Rises party night, in association with mental health charity Andy's Man Club, will lift spirits after the pressures of lockdown.
He added: "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."