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Malignaggi hands Hatton comeback option

ESPN staff
August 17, 2012
Paul Malignaggi lost to Ricky Hatton in November 2008 © Getty Images

WBA welterweight champion Paul Malignaggi has volunteered himself as Ricky Hatton's next opponent if the Brit does make a dramatic return to the ring.

The Manchester Evening News reported this week that Hatton has been considering a comeback, and is set to speak out on the topic in the near future. Hatton retired in July 2011, with his last fight a savage second-round knockout defeat to Manny Pacquiao in May 2009. He closed with a 45-2 record (32 KOs).

Suggestions of a return have been lent credibility by the fact Hatton has shed much of his excess weight in recent months, and now looks to be somewhere close to fighting condition.

Malignaggi, who Hatton defeated in November 2008 via 11th-round stoppage, has handed the 34-year-old an option. He told Ring TV: "If he's [Hatton] making a comeback, then I would like to fight him in a rematch, and it's not going to be the same fight."

First Malignaggi must safely navigate a defence of the WBA title, which he took from Vyacheslav Senchenko in April, against Pablo Cano on October 20.

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