According to reports this Thursday evening, an exhibition boxing match between former UFC welterweight contenders, Dan Hardy, and Diego Sanchez has been penned for a July 2. boxing event – which is slated to feature an eight round exhibition boxing match between the returning, Ricky Hatton, and Marco Antonio Barrera. The event is scheduled to take place at the AO Arena in Manchester, England.

Dan Hardy will feature in active competition for the first time in 10 year

Nottingham favorite, Dan Hardy, who has been out of action since a hometown UFC victory against Amir Sadollah all the way back in September 2012, has been campaigning majorly for a return to competition in the last couple of years, welcoming links to clashes against the likes of Donald Cerrone, Nick Diaz, a boxing match against Tyron Woodley, and a kickboxing pairing with John Wayne Parr to name a few. 

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For Sanchez, the one-time UFC lightweight title challenger recently returned to active competition under the Khabib Nurmagomedov-led Eagle FC banner, suffering a back-and-forth unanimous decision loss against fellow Octagon alum, Kevin Lee back in March in a 165lb super lightweight outing. Per an initial report by MMA Fighting, the bout between Dan Hardy and Diego Sanchez is scheduled to take place over the course of eight, two minute rounds – with the pair expected to appear at a press conference on Sunday. 

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43-year-old Stockport veteran, Hatton will make his first venture into the squared circle since his November 2012 knockout loss against subsequent retirement against Vyacheslav Senchenko. 

45-3 as a professional, Hatton’s sole other two losses came against both former world champions, Manny Pacquiao, and Floyd Mayweather – himself scoring notable career wins against the likes of Giuseppe Lauri, Tony Pep, Kostya Tszyu, Carlos Muassa, Luis Collazo, Juan Urango, Jose Luis Castillo, and Paulie Malignaggi. 

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Mexico City veteran, Barrera, 48, will make his first outing in a boxing ring since his February 2011 knockout win over Jose Arias. 

The 67-7 professional, Barrera began his professional career all the way back in 1989, and is a former WBC WBO, and IBF featherweight champion – landing career wins over Agapito Sanchez, Jesse Benavides, Orlando Fernandez, Jose Luis Valbuena, Jesus Salud, ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed, Erik Morales, Johnny Tapia, Kevin Kelley, and Rocky Juarez.