The news that Ricky Hatton is set to announce his return to the ring in a press conference on Friday has led many to believe that he will look to secure a world title opportunity against Paulie Malignaggi.

Hatton revealed that he would be making a major announcement on Friday and it seems as though he will confirm his return to professional boxing.

The Hitman only officially announced his retirement last year, but has not been in action since he suffered a brutal second round knockout at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in May 2009.

Ricky Hatton
Hatton is ready to announce a return to professional boxing [Reuters]

Having recently shed more than three stone in training, an imminent return to the ring has been mooted for November 24 at the MEN Arena in Manchester.

Now the Independent believes that Hatton will target a bout with old foe Malignaggi who currently holds the WBA welterweight title after defeating Vyacheslav Senchenko in Ukraine earlier this year.

Hatton beat the New Yorker back in 2008 and may see him as the perfect opponent, with Malignaggi considered by many to lack punch power - only seven of his 31 wins have come inside twelve rounds.

There is a growing belief that Hatton will not just return for one final bout - he was always frustrated at going out on a loss - and he will instead announce a major deal with a television company for a number of fights.

Hatton will have to first reapply for his licence from the British Boxing Board of Control but with no concerns over his health, and with no injury problems, it is unlikely the request would be rejected.

Since retiring as a fighter, Hatton has put together an impressible stable of fighters under the guise of Hattion Promotion, which includes world title challengers Martin Murray and Rendall Munroe, as well as Anthony Crolla and Scott Quigg.

However, since Sky Sports announced that they would no longer show Hatton Promotion fights, the Manchester based company has been looking for a new television deal.