Boxing: Hatton looks to vent fury on Maussa

Acrimonious split with Warren overshadows preparations to build on the Tszyu spectacular

No doubt he will be able to chew the fat, so to speak, with another like-minded former world champion, Naseem Hamed, should they meet up at the Sheffield Arena ringside on Saturday to watch Ricky Hatton's world light-welterweight title "unification" bout with the gangling, long-armed Colombian Carlos Maussa.

Tyson says he will carry Hatton's International Boxing Federation belt into the ring, while Naseem has promised a rare public appearance in his home town to support the young "Hit-man" whose epic victory over Kostya Tszyu four months ago, Naseem claims, has inspired him to end his own fistic hiber-nation. According to Hatton's estranged promoter Frank Warren, who met Naz last week, he is "deadly serious" about his comeback. Not that they will continue their conversation in Sheffield, because for the first time since he signed Hatton as an 18-year-old, Warren won't be with him. Their split after the Tszyu bout was acrimonious.

The question is how much the fights in the ring with Tszyu and outside it with Warren have taken out of Hatton. After what he says is a one-off deal with Sheffield's ambitious promoters Fight Academy, he faces a High Court battle with Warren, who alleges breach of contract.

Hatton says he has found it fazing. "This has been the most difficult time of my career. Things have got very personal with Frank and some of the hurtful things that have been said have really got my back up. I made myself ill with frustration and had to take a couple of days out of the gym.

"My training has been affected but my performance won't be. It has made me all the more determined to go out there and unleash the fury I've got in me."

It is possible Hatton peaked against Tszyu, one of the world's outstanding fighters, and may now hit his pugilistic plateau. This is his 40th fight. Still unbeaten, he believes he will get even better. "When you beat someone like Tszyu, every fight after that is something of a comedown, but my new goal is to climb even higher. There are still other belts out there I want to get my hands on. And I want to make my name in America. My dream is topping the bill at Madison Square Garden or in Las Vegas against the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto."

He settles for Sheffield and Maussa, an awkward if not awesome fighter. The 5ft 10in South American has a four-inch height and 10-inch reach advantage over the 27-year-old Mancunian. He likes to throw big, looping shots and can be a heavy hitter, as his last opponent, Vivian Harris, whom he relieved of the World Boxing Association title in seven rounds, will painfully testify.

Hatton, who watched Maussa beat hot favourite Harris in Atlantic City, describes him as "a bit erky-jerky. There's not a lot of rhythm about him and I don't think he's as polished as me."

Maussa, 34, has won all but two of his 22 bouts, 18 inside the distance. He has been stopped once, by Cotto, the World Boxing Council champion, and he may well be again by Hatton late in the fight. But as Hatton admits, it is not a foregone conclusion, for he has had much weighing on his mind of late as well as, worryingly, around his middle.

Sky Box Office from 9pm (£14.95)

THE HOW AND WHY OF HATTON'S SUCCESS

Head

Sharp as a tack, the Hitman talks as fluently as he fights, and has a boxing brain which enables him to switch tactics mid-round. No longer troubled by eye injuries after surgery earlier in his career. Good chin, but gets hit too often.

Body

Suffers from midriff bulge, and admits to being a bit of a binge drinker between bouts. The worry is that constantly having to shed excess weight could eventually affect his stamina. But works closely with a dietician.

Arms

These give him his strength. An old-fashioned, two-fisted body-puncher, he has prodigious power in the clinches and hits with the force of a middleweight. Needs to mix his fabled hooks with uppercuts against the taller Colombian.

Legs

Has inherited short footballer's legs from his father, once a Manchester City midfielder. Rarely takes a backwards step and uses his quick feet to position himself within short-punching distance of even the most elusive opponent.

Suggested Topics
Sport
Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
football
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Advisor - East Anglia - Field-based

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: To be considered for this position you will n...

Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, Graduate, SQL, VBA)

£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...

Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Perl, Bash, SQL)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...

C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home