The fighters have arrived in Manchester, England for one of the biggest sporting events to hit the United Kingdom in years and the sound of IBO & Ring Magazine World Junior Welterweight Champion Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton's 43-1 (31) theme song can be heard on every street corner.
Fortunately for American fight fans, they too can be part of the mayhem in Manchester when VERSUS televises live on Saturday the spectacular double-header that includes Hatton's return to the ring against former world title challenger and top rated contender Juan Lazcano, as well as a co-feature bout between IBF World Junior Welterweight Champion Paulie 'The Magic Man' Malignaggi in a re-match with rugged South African-Australian battler Lovemore N'Dou.
With an expected 55,000 fans ascending on the City of Manchester Stadium to see the bout live, Hatton, coming off the only loss of his career to pound-for-pound best Floyd Mayweather last December, is ready to show his worldwide fan base, why he is still a great champion.
"It's great to be back in action and it's an absolute dream come true to fight at the Manchester City Stadium against a fighter like Lazcano who comes to fight." said Hatton. "A fight like this can't fail to be a winner. Also, it's my way of thanking all of my loyal fans whether they are here in the stadium or watching live in the United States. I can't wait!"
The VERSUS telecast will begin at a special time of 3:30pm ET/12:30pm PT, marking the first ever collaboration between the network and Golden Boy Promotions. The live fight will be produced and shown in HD where available. The championship doubleheader will be replayed on Sunday, May 25 at 10:00pm ET.
Looking to spoil Hatton's party is Lazcano (37-4-1, 27 KOs). "I'm here in Manchester but have no fear of Ricky Hatton or his fans," said Lazcano. "I know I will 'WOW' the world on Saturday when I beat Ricky and take his belts from him!”
IBF World Junior Welterweight Champion Malignaggi (24-1, 5 KOs), is fighting for the first time outside of the United States, and has a chance to show a world-wide audience that he is more than just a flashy fighter with a big mouth.
"I am going to razzle and dazzle the 55,000 fans at the City of Manchester Stadium Saturday night and all those watching back in the States will remember why they love to see me fight," said Malignaggi. "It will be another dominating performance as I plan to outbox and outwork him just like the first fight!"
His opponent N'dou has other plans. "No one can beat me in front of a crowd this big. The last time we fought the referee didn't let me fight my fight but this time I will take him to school, give him a boxing lesson and he'll be lucky to last twelve rounds."
"Homecoming" is promoted by Punch Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions and Frank Maloney Promotions. Malignaggi vs. N'Dou is presented in association with DiBella Entertainment.