• Welterweight

Senchenko eyes Khan after Hatton

ESPN staff
November 20, 2012
Vyacheslav Senchenko lost his WBA belt to Paulie Malignaggi in April © PA Photos

Former WBA welterweight world champion Vyacheslav Senchenko is hoping victory over Ricky Hatton will pave the way for another title shot.

The Ukrainian takes on former two-weight world champion Hatton in Manchester on Saturday, and he insists he has no fear of taking on the Brit, who will make his comeback in front of 18,000 home fans.

While Senchenko says he is fully focused on a "prime" Hatton, he admits he would love the chance to face Amir Khan, should he emerge victorious from Saturday's fight.

"This is the way to come back in the limelight - to beat one of the most popular boxers in the world," Senchenko told Showtime. "It would bring me back in the top position, worldwide. If I beat Ricky then I can get another shot at a title.

"I'm not looking that far yet, because when I win this fight I will be in contention for some of the biggest fights out there. I could fight Amir Khan if I win, but right now I'm concentrating on this fight. I'll have to see what to do next."

Hatton has not stepped into a ring since his defeat to Manny Pacquiao in May 2009, but Senchenko believes the 34-year-old is in the shape of his life.

"When I made the decision to fight Ricky I did it expecting the best Ricky Hatton," he said. "We know Ricky wouldn't have come back if he wasn't at his best - that's just how boxing is. Ricky wouldn't have taken the risk if he didn't think he was 100 percent. So we're expecting a very hard fight. We're expecting the best Ricky Hatton, a prime Ricky Hatton.

"I'm very excited that I'm going to Manchester to fight in front of a huge crowd. I had a great camp and prepared the way I always do. It's an opportunity to shine and show the British my skills. Sure, there will 18,000 Ricky Hatton fans, but once I'm in the ring it's just me and Ricky. The fans aren't in there with him."

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