If you were worried that the exhibition between Ricky Hatton and Marco Antonio Barrera might turn nasty this weekend, the pair’s face off should put you at ease.
Just days out from two legends – one British, one Mexican – returning to the ring, fans have witnessed just how close the two men are. Although never fighting in their professional careers, they did enjoy a close relationship and even walked one another to the ring on occasion.
With a shared record of 123 fights – 112 of those being wins – Hatton and Barrera look ready to put on a show that celebrates the skill and sportsmanship of boxing.
As they came head-to-head, Barrera broke the tension by blowing a kiss to his old pal. ‘The Hitman’s trademark humour was on show too, as he boasted that Barrera could get his arms all the way around this newfound slim figure.
The Hitman back in a face off 🤩
— Boxing Social (@boxing_social) November 10, 2022
As face offs go, it was tame – but that follows suit in a narrative that has not once been about bad blood, but rather a respect for one another, the sport, and what it can do for people. As fighters, it has given the two men names and legacies, as well as fitness and purpose.
For fans, we get the opportunity to see some of our favourite competitors do it again – albeit it at half speed. Whilst both men involved know the dangers of the ring, Hatton told Sky Sports that nobody will be disappointed by the showcase.
“Me and Marco said ‘not one person walks away Saturday yawning, no chance’, I said I’d rather not do it. He said ‘I know exactly what you mean Ricky’ and that’s the beauty of it.
“It will be exciting, but there’s a bit of professional pride because we’re both former champions, I’m not having him come and outbox me, I’ve no doubt he’ll be saying the same so it’s going to be good.”
What might just be Hatton’s last dance takes place on Saturday night in Manchester’s AO Arena, and the action will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.