RICKY HATTON stunned boxing fans with a lean and mean physique as he hit the scales for the first time in over a decade.
The hitman returns to the ring for a show with Mexican great Marco Antonio Barerra on Saturday night.
Hatton, 44, left no stone unturned for the eight-rounder with his pal – he completed several grueling training sessions a day.
And his hard work in the gym has left him with rock-solid six-pack abs that boxing fans marvel at after seeing him step on the scale.
One tweeted: “I saw this guy in the flesh in February and he was literally 3x the size he is now fair play!”
Another said: “Amazing how quickly he can get in shape.”
And another said: “Fair play. There are hard transplants.”
One remarked: “The old man looks great!!!”
The hitman is in such good mental shape that he’s even indulged in the occasional pint in the build-up and managed to stay on track during a family vacation where he’s typically been OTT.
“I’ve had a few Guinnesses here and there,” he said with the signature smile that fans have fallen in love with. “Because I was able to keep track.
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“I was in Tenerife for five weeks. Normally I would gain five pounds, but I went and gained four or five pounds. Everyone was like “F***!” but that’s how it will be now.
“It’s not going to be ‘I’m 44, I’ll put my feet up, pipe and slippers.’
“You get a little bit older, a little bit wiser, and things have to change — a little bit.”
It was an all-too-rare TV appearance that sparked Hatton’s transformation and cleaned out his wardrobe even more ruthlessly than his assault on the super-lightweight division.
“I went in and filmed A Question of Sport three weeks before practice started,” he said.
“I was in the camp for eight weeks when they told me it was going to start.
“I turned it on and said, ‘F***ing hell!’
“I was mentally fine and have been for a while, but by the time I saw the show I emptied my entire wardrobe.
“I have a new wardrobe now, I have a 30 inch waist at the moment. I have a couple of 32’s. As soon as the 32’s get a bit too tight, I don’t reach for the 34’s anymore.
“If I can’t close the button, I’m not fucking going out!”
The dance with the 48-year-old Mexican warhorse was originally scheduled for July 2 but was postponed.
But he coped with the heartbreak and the extended training camp with typical humor and honesty.
He said: “Physically, at 15 Stein, I would look in the mirror and think, ‘Rick, you don’t look that bad,’ and it never bothered me while I was fighting because I would be back in six or seven weeks training and it was going to happen anyway.
“But I’m 44 now, I can’t bring some poor guy out of retirement every time I want to lose weight!
“I enjoyed the compliments, people who came up to me with sanity and said, ‘Damn it, Rick, I was struggling with my weight and seeing you shift all that weight made me want to do it do’ .
“Then other people said, ‘Jesus, Ricky, I saw you a few years ago with all that weight, suicidal, wanted to kill you, heavily drunk, heavily addicted to drugs, the way you were to see you now it was so inspiring’.
“Even when the original fight was postponed, I knew it hadn’t been for nothing.
“It was the first training camp I’ve had in ten years and now I’ve had two in ten years.
“I kept track, I’m doing ten rounds of sparring, I couldn’t have done that lately. Now I can.
“Nobody can say that this exhibition is a bad thing.
“When fighters make a comeback, you never want to see your heroes get beat up or hurt. In an exhibition everything is controlled.
“You can see your heroes one last time, show off their skills, knowing they won’t get hurt.
“With me, people who have struggled with their weight and their depression, my current shape, the way I speak, how I have changed. I’m not ready for my whistle and slippers yet.
“It inspired a lot of people, I’ll hear the crowd roar again and share the ring with Marco, it’s a dream. I can’t see anything negative about that.”
Hatton v Barrera, November 12, Manchester Arena. Live on Sky Sports Main Event – Buy tickets at
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6656104/ricky-hatton-body-transformation-barerra-fight/ Ricky Hatton stuns fans with torn abs at weigh-in for Barrera fight after incredible body transformation