British boxing hero Ricky Hatton announced in April that he will face Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera in an exhibition contest.
By the time the two men get in the ring, Hatton will be almost a decade removed from his final professional outing, while Barerra’s ring farewell came back in February 2011.
Mike Tyson’s meeting with Roy Jones Jr in November 2020 sparked huge intrigue around former world champions showing off their skills in their autumn years.
Hatton vs. Barrera is, in part, a product of that, with the Englishman also keen to use the event to raise awareness around mental illness following his own well-documented struggles.
The Sporting News has put together everything you need to know about Hatton vs. Barrera.
When is Ricky Hatton vs. Marco Antonio Barrera?
Hatton’s bout with Barrera will take place on Saturday, November 12.
It was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 2, but Hughie Fury pulled out of his WBA heavyweight title eliminator against American Michael Hunter on the same card through injury and broadcaster Sky Sports pulled the event as a result.
Fury and Hunter will now meet on October 29 in Birmingham.
Where is the Ricky Hatton vs. Marco Antonio Barrera fight taking place?
Manchester Arena will stage Hatton vs. Barrera two weeks later and it is a venue synonymous with one of the finest modern careers in British boxing.
In total, Hatton has boxed 15 times at the Manchester Arena, starting with a slot on the undercard of Carl Thompson’s WBO cruiserweight title win over Chris Eubank in April 1998.
That was Hatton’s fifth outing as a pro and within three years he had become a regular headline attraction at his home arena, beating the likes of Freddie Pendleton. Eamonn Magee, Vince Philips and Ben Tackie en route to his career-defining triumph over Kostya Tszyu in June 2005.
A sold-out crowd packed into the venue and were locked in for a 2 a.m. start, with the IBF super-lightweight clash against pound-for-pound star Tszyu staged at an agreeable time for US television.
Hatton fought a relentless fight, absorbing some heavy right hands and eventually sapping Tszyu, with the champion quitting on his stool at the end of the penultimate round.
Sparkling nights in Las Vegas against Juan Urango, Jose Luis Castillo, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Paulie Malignaggi and Manny Pacquiao followed, with Hatton’s comeback bout three-and-a-half years on from that latter knockout loss taking place at the Manchester Arena against Vyacheslav Senchenko.
On an emotional night, Hatton started quickly and was ahead on the cards but fading when Senchenko stopped him with a body shot. He announced his retirement afterwards.
In a coincidental quirk, Barerra’s final professional defeat also came at the Manchester Arena in March 2009, when he dropped a five-round technical decision to Amir Khan, where he was behind on points after suffering a nasty cut from a clash of heads.
Did Ricky Hatton and Marco Antonio Barrera meet in their professional careers?
The fact both men are coming down from comfortable retirement weights has made the exhibition possible. Hatton has joked about his relief of not having to get down to 10 stone, where he campaigned for most of his career.
Aside from his WBA title win over Luis Collazo and the defeats to Mayweather and Senchenko at welterweight (147lbs), Hatton campaigned exclusively in the super-lightweight division (140lbs).
Operating at 140lbs means he was in a different orbit to Barrera, a three-weight world champion at super-bantamweight (122lbs), featherweight (126lbs) and super-featherweight (130lbs).
They share a common opponent in Pacquiao. Before the Filipino superstar chillingly rendered Hatton unconscious in two May 2009 rounds at light-welterweight, Barrera twice lost in thrilling contests between the pair.
Pacquiao stopped the Mexican in the penultimate round of their initial meeting at featherweight in November 2003 and almost four years later he closed out a unanimous decision to rip the WBC super-featherweight title from Barrera, who would never reign as a world champion again.
How to watch Ricky Hatton vs. Marco Antonio Barrera
Sky Sports is set to show the fight in the UK, although details of the broadcast are yet to be confirmed.
The initial show was planned to take place as a co-promotion with Sky’s in-house promotional partner Boxxer, which was staging the Fury vs. Hunter bout.
Hatton has stated he expects the partnership with Sky and Boxxer to remain, with their concurrent fight card to be confirmed in due course.
How to buy tickets for Ricky Hatton vs. Marco Antonio Barrera
A limited number of tickets remain available via See Tickets for the lower tier of Manchester Arena, priced between ?58.30 – ?113.
Who is on the Ricky Hatton vs. Marco Antonio Barrera undercard?
With the Boxxer element of the card still pending, the only bout so far confirmed for the undercard will see Dan Hardy take on his fellow former UFC star Diego Sanchez under boxing rules.
Ricky Hatton career record, titles won
Before his comeback fight against Senchenko, Hatton’s only two career losses came to the finest fighters of his generation in Mayweather and Pacquiao.
Michael Buffer first uttered his famous “someone’s O has got to go” line before Mayweather and Hatton clashed in their December 2007 blockbuster at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The Mancunian’s unblemished records stood at a sensational 43-0 at that stage, while he wrapped up his career on 45-3.
Hatton won his first significant title in October 2000, when he boxed through a gruesome cut to win a points verdict against John Thaxton for the British super-lightweight belt.
It was not the last time cuts would hinder Hatton, with further crises coming during his long reign in possession of the WBU super-lightweight title. He halted Tony Pep at Wembley Conference Centre to win the title in March 2001 and his wins over Pendleton, Magee, Phillips and Tackie were among 15 defences up to and including his 10th-round KO of Ray Oliveira in December 2004.
Hatton’s night of nights against Tszyu followed six months later and he rounded off 2005 with a ninth-round knockout of Carlos Maussa, adding the WBA title to the IBF strap he won off Tszyu. Those exploits saw him named Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year – the first boxer from the UK to be bestowed with the prestigious accolade.
In May 2006, Hatton became a two-weight world champion when he won a narrow unanimous decision over Collazo. However, a flash first-round knockdown in the Briton’s favour was crucial to him winning the WBA welterweight title and, after coming through some heavy weather late on, he went back down to 140lbs for the wins over Urango, from whom he regained his old IBF belt, and Castillo.
A showreel body shot stoppage of Castillo paved the way for the Mayweather blockbuster at welterweight. There were further wins over Juan Lazcano in a homecoming at the Etihad Stadium and Paulie Malignaggi to retain the Ring belt at super-lightweight before Pacquiao turned his lights out, dealing Hatton his only defeat at his natural weight.
Marco Antonio Barrera career record, titles won
Barrera was a key player in a golden era in the lighter weights for his native Mexico. At domestic level, he campaigned at super-flyweight, winning the Mexican title with a unanimous decision win over Josefino Suarez in April 1992.
He won a WBC super-flyweight eliminator against Carlos Salazar in Buenos Aires in April 1994 but his first shot at world honours arrived 11 months later at super-bantamweight when he beat Daniel Jimenez over 12 rounds for the WBO title.
Barrera defended his crown eight times, including a thrilling final round stoppage of Kennedy McKinney having climbed off the canvas in the 11th, before suffering back-to-back losses to Junior Jones.
Four fights later, in October 1998, Barrera stopped Richie Wenton in three rounds to regain his old WBO belt. Three more defences followed before a career-defining rivalry commenced.
In a unification clash laced with bad blood, Barrera dropped a split decision against countryman and WBC champion Erik Morales. The victor’s decision to step up in weight after a thriller that was named Ring Magazine Fight of the Year in 2000 meant the WBO reinstated Barrera and he won three further times as its champion.
He spectacularly announced himself at featherweight by dominating the precocious Naseem Hamed, dealing the British star a first career defeat over 12 chastening rounds. That placed Barerra on a collision course with Morales, against whom he avenged his controversial loss with a unanimous decision triumph to win the WBC’s 126lbs title in June 2002.
Further impressive wins came against Johnny Tapia and Kevin Kelley before defeat to Pacquiao. The route back to world honours came in a rubber match with Morales, who would embark upon another won one; lost two trilogy with Pacquiao after Barrera beat him again for the WBC super-featherweight crown by majority decision.
He remained champion after 24 keenly contested rounds against Rocky Juarez before defeat to the great Juan Manuel Marquez preceded Barrera coming up similarly short in his Pacquiao rematch.
In his later years, Barrera campaigned at lightweight and super-lightweight, although the Khan defeat confirmed veteran world title ambitions at those weights would not be realised as he retired with a record of 67 wins and seven defeats in 44 KOs.