Ricky Hatton has already won.
Ricky “Fatton,” as some called him because of his propensity to gain weight between fights, is back in fighting shape going into his exhibition against Marco Antonio Barrera on Saturday in Manchester, England.
Hatton, 44, reportedly lost 40 pounds for his first action since his last sanctioned bout in 2012.
The former 140-pound champion was supposed to have faced Barrera in July. However, the meeting was postponed when undercard fighter Hughie Fury pulled out with an injury.
“When I first went into training for the first one [in July] obviously I looked like a beached whale again,” Hatton said. “When I started getting into training and kept the weight off, I started getting a lot of feedback.
“They were saying, ‘If you can get the weight off at 44 …. I’ve enjoyed inspiring people. I’ve enjoyed it for my own well being. When the fight was postponed I carried on training through the next training camp.
“I think everyone loved Ricky Fatton [but] I think Ricky Fatton is gone now. It took me 44 years to get it. The days of me ballooning are behind me now.”
Hatton said he e gave up alcohol and junk food to shed the weight.
“I like pints of beer, it has been well known, but you can’t do that,” Hatton told British Boxing TV. “I think that is the main thing with the weight. If you go out and have pints seven days a week you won’t be walking around with a six pack.
“I think it is just sensible, eating the right things small and often and regular workouts. Some days I have thought, ‘Can I have a rest day?’ and then I have thought I will take my foot down on the pace and go for a run to keep a sweat on.
“I do two workouts a day so my metabolism is always racing. Cut it down on treats, I have 12 cups of tea a day normally but it has to just be a one-off.”
Barrera, 48, was among those who have been impressed with Hatton’s weight loss.
“I’m very shocked at Ricky’s transformation and very proud of him, very happy,” the Mexican Hall of Famer said. “I’m very honored to be a small part of his transformation knowing that this exhibition came through and he started to focus on himself.
“We saw him three months ago at the Tyson Fury fight. He’s a completely different person from what we see today. We’re very happy for him.”