After years out of the ring, two giants are meeting in Manchester for what could be the fight of a lifetime. Ricky Hatton and Marco Antonio Barrera were both giants of the boxing ring, so the whole world was excited when it was announced that the two would be taking part in an exhibition fight this July. Whether you've followed their whole careers, or are only just discovering your love for boxing, there's a lot to find out about these two boxing behemoths. We've got all the information you need to know here.
When and Where
The most important things to know are the details of the fight so that you can be sure you're ready to watch it. The fight will be held on Saturday the 2nd of July in Manchester Arena. This is a particularly important spot for Ricky, as Manchester is his hometown. Although there hasn't yet been a designated coverage provider decided on, the match will definitely be covered so that you'll be able to watch it on television as well as in person.
The fight will be an exhibition match and will last eight rounds. There'll be two fights leading up to it, but the Hatton v Barrera fight should start at 10 pm. The two preceding undercard fights will be between Casey Walsh and Don Strapzy, and Dan Hardy and Diego Sanchez.
Born in Manchester, Ricky Hatton shot to boxing stardom in 1997 at just 19 years old, but now at 43 he says he is still fighting fit and ready to take on Barrera. During his career he won 45 matches and lost just three. Two of the fights he lost were against boxing behemoths Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
It should come as no surprise that with a record as impressive as this, Hatton has held many titles, including the welterweight and light-welterweight Champion of the World. ESPN and The Ring magazine both independently named him the Fighter of the Year as well.
Unfortunately for Ricky, during his return fight in 2012, after a long hiatus, he came up against Vyacheslav Senchenko and lost, prompting him to announce his permanent retirement. The upcoming fight in July will be his first since then, so it would mean a great deal to Ricky and his connections to win.
Marco Antonio Barrera
Although Barrera is five years older than Hatton, fans still know him as the Baby-faced Assassin. He was born in Mexico and spent a large portion of his career there, fighting in the bantamweight, featherweight and lightweight classes. At various points in his career, he held the world championship title in all three of these weight classes. Not only that, but he's been indicted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and made it into several countdowns of the best boxers of all time.
His last fight was in 2011 and, unlike Hatton, he walked away victorious after a knockout win over Jose Arias in Guadalajara. Like Hatton, Barrera also holds a largely unbeaten record but was beaten by Manny Pacquiao like the Manchester boxer. It will be interesting to see what both fighters learned from their run-ins with Pacquiao.
An important thing to note about this fight is that it will be what is known as an exhibition fight. These sorts of matches are designed to be an 'exhibition' of the skills of two boxers who are, generally speaking, retired. Owing to this, there's not always a winner, which means the rules for betting can be a little different.
People have been betting on sports since practically the dawn of time, this piece on the origins of gambling explains all about gladiators brilliantly. However, betting on exhibition matches is much less common than betting on a 'normal' boxing match, for a variety of reasons. The first is, as we mentioned before, the fight is more of an exhibition than a true match. As well as this, it's hard to decide on suitable odds. Whilst some bookmakers will be offering bets, it's likely that many won't be.