Ricky Hatton sheds FOUR STONE in stunning body transformation ahead of comeback fight aged 44 | The Sun

RICKY HATTON’S exhibition fight with fellow legend Marco Antonio Barrera is an exercise in mental strength and nostalgia and nothing to do with a serious comeback.

Alarm bells have to ring when a 44-year-old grandfather announces a fight, ten years after his last one ended in a second consecutive defeat.

But the former two-weight world champ and Manchester icon has explained how a gruelling training regime, four-stone weight loss and chance to walk out at his local arena on Saturday has hugely improved his life – not threatened it.

The Hitman is in such a good mental space he has even treated himself to the occasional pint in the build-up and even stayed on track over a family holiday where he would usually go OTT.

“I've been having a few Guinness here and there,” he said with the trademark smile fans fell in love with. “Because I've been able to keep on top of it.

“I went to Tenerife for five weeks. Normally I'd put on a stone and a half but I went there and put four or five pounds on. Everyone was like "f***!"  but that's the way it's going to be now.


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“It's not gonna be ‘I'm 44, I'm gonna put my feet up, pipe and slippers’.

“You get a little bit older, a bit wiser and things have to change – a little bit.”

Hatton added: "When I jumped on the scales at the start of training it was 15st 4lbs.

"And the weigh-in is this Friday which is made at 11st 7lbs. And I'm 11st 7lbs now.

"It's been a long way to come. I'm 44years of age, and the shape that I've got myself in has taken a lot of hard work.

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"It's been great to give myself a target, a goal. It's been great for my own wellbeing.

"I've had so many message of support from people who have struggled with their weight. They say to see my from where I was a few years ago to where I am now is an inspiration.

"It makes me feel very, very proud that I'm not just going to be back in the ring again, and hear the roar of the crowd again, but it's also that it's inspired people. That's more important for me."

It was an all-too-rare TV appearance that sparked Hatton’s transformation and a clear out of his wardrobe even more ruthless than his assault on the super-lightweight division.

“I went in and filmed A Question of Sport three weeks before I started training,” he said.

“I’d been in camp for eight weeks when they told me it was coming on.

“I flicked it on and went "F***ing hell!’.

“I was alright mentally and I have been for a while but when I saw the show I emptied my entire wardrobe.

“I've got a new wardrobe now, I'm a 30in waist at the minute. I've got a few 32s. As soon as the 32s get a bit too tight, I'm not going for the 34s again.

“If I can't get the button fastened, I don't f***ing go out!”

The dance with the 48-year-old Mexican warhorse was originally scheduled for July 2 but suffered a postponement.

He handled the heartbreak and extended training camp with typical humour and honesty.

He said: “Physically I'd look in the mirror at 15 stone and think, 'Rick, you don't look too bad' and it never bothered me while I was fighting, because in six or seven weeks I'd be back training and it would come off anyway.


“But I'm 44 now, I can't keep dragging some poor f***er out of retirement every time I want to get some weight off!

“I've enjoyed the compliments, people coming up to me with mental health and saying, 'f***ing hell, Rick, I've been struggling with my weight and seeing you shift all that weight has made me want to'.

“Then other people have said, 'Jesus, Ricky, seeing you a few years ago with all that weight, suicidal, wanting to kill yourself, heavily drinking, heavily into drugs, the way you were, to see you now, it's been so inspiring'.

“So even when the original fight was postponed, I knew it had not been for nothing.

“It was the first training camp I had in 10 years and now I've had two in 10 years. I've stayed on top of things, I do 10-rounds of sparring, I wouldn't have been able to in the last time. Now I can.

“Nobody can say this exhibition is a bad thing. When fighters make comebacks, you never want to see your heroes being bashed up or hurt. In an exhibition, it's controlled.

“You can see your heroes for one last time, showcase their skills, with the knowledge they won't get hurt.

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“With me, people who have struggled with their weight and depression, the shape of me now, the way I'm talking, how I've changed. I'm not ready for my pipe and slippers yet.

“It's inspired a lot of people, I'll hear the crowd roar again and share the ring with Marco, it's a dream. I can't see a negative thing about it.”

Hatton vs Barrera, November 12, Manchester Arena. Live on Sky Sports Main Event – Buy Tickets at https://www.hattonbarrera.com

You’re Not Alone

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
  • Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
  • Movember, www.uk.movember.com
  • Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm

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