Ricky Hatton v Vyacheslav Senchenko makes perfect sense for both fighters, and I doubt either could have found a better opponent to face next. This works for several reasons.
Hatton will have been out of the ring for just over three years by the time he begins the second part of his boxing career in November. He will be 34 years old, which isn’t ancient, but time is not on his side.
He says his goals are 1) to make his family and fans proud, and 2) to win a world title.
Depending on whether or not Hatton has put a timeframe on the length of his return — four fights over two years is my guess — he doesn’t have the luxury, nor should he look for it, of fighting any real pushovers.
If he’s still got anything meaningful left in the tank i’m sure he, his family, friends and fans will want to know as soon as possible. After fighting Senchenko, he should be able to make a realistic assessment of what standard he can aspire to.
Senchenko is not a top-10 welterweight, but he is no walk in the park. He lost the WBA welterweight title to Paulie Malignaggi in his last fight, and he will have enough talent to force Hatton to show a certain level of skill if he is to win this fight.
The ‘Hitman’ cannot expect to go straight in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao, and it doesn’t matter if he never fights those guys again. Success would be showing that he’s not been away too long, and has enough left to win one of the recognised world belts.
Senchenko is 35 years old and also most likely winding his career down.
Fighting Malignaggi earlier this year introduced the Ukrainian to many boxing fans, as he hadn’t previously taken on any marquee names. The Hatton fight allows him to build on that exposure as the publicity will be huge in the week or two leading up to November 24.
The payday will also be better than average, i’m sure.
If Hatton is rusty and Senchenko capitalises, he will set himself up for another big fight either in the U.S., or against one of several decent welterweights in Britain.
This match up really feels like a perfect pairing, considering the stages they’re at.