THIS Saturday (April 1) Ricky Hatton was in Crystal Palace, guiding his heavyweight, Nathan Gorman, to victory over Dominc Akinlade. It’s a venue Hatton is a familiar with, he used to train at the sports centre when he was England amateur team-mates with, and men of the moment, Tony Bellew and David Haye.
“I met them through the amateurs and I’ve been mates with them ever since,” Hatton told Boxing News. “It’s never nice in boxing. You always have rival trainers or rival promoters, rival TV companies or whatever but we are a family.
“When you get Tony and David who have been mates of mine for years fighting each other, when people ask you who you think is going to win, it’s never an easy question to answer. I didn’t think Tony had that performance in him. He’d been stopped by [Adonis] Stevenson, he’d been down several times at cruiserweight. When you look at David and some of the men that he’s fought and knocked and shook up, like Valuev, John Ruiz, people like that. Purely on size difference, he’s light years from the size of Tony Bellew. It just shows. Nothing should really surprise you in this game. Nobody gave me a chance against Kostya Tszyu. It happens, doesn’t it? There’s always the chance of an upset, my hat off to Tony. I’ve never been more proud of being proved wrong.”