“You’d love to see him back because he never lost it in the ring. You’d love to see that all-English heavyweight title fight against Anthony Joshua,” Hatton said.
Ricky believes that Fury, at his best, could have beaten Anthony Joshua, now the unified IBF and WBA heavyweight champion. “I think if Tyson would have boxed Anthony Joshua maybe six or seven months after he beat Klitschko, he would have won,” Hatton says. “He’s an absolute nightmare, Tyson, he’s orthodox, southpaw, in, out. I just see it in my mind him walking Anthony Joshua on to one.”
The big question, Hatton asks is: “Can he ever be that good again? That’s the big question. Has he done too much damage?”
Ricky knows exactly what it’s like to blow up in weight, and to try to return to boxing after a long time out. “I looked a million dollars in sparring before I made my comeback but the minute the bell went I thought ‘oh s***,’” he recalled. “That can happen when you’ve done that much damage.”
“I used to lose weight but he has had to lose seven stone,” he continued. “I put weight on but that was only four or five months. He has had two or three years now.”
Hatton mused, “I worry about Tyson. He has been in my gym, he spent about a month training in there and he looked absolutely sensational, still carrying that excess weight but he’s still got another four stone to go. But I just wonder has he already done too much damage to himself? That’s my worry.
“And he’s not a Buddhist monk is he? He must have done some damage in the few years out.”
Fury appears to be the kind of man who follows his own instructions too. “I think Tyson will tell his coaches what he wants to do. Billy Graham [Hatton’s trainer] used to say ‘you fat bastard, you’re doing this and that today,’” Ricky recalled. “I don’t think that exists with Tyson, he’s the boss – which is wrong, isn’t it?”