There was the long friendship with Bernard Manning, the golfing days with Michael Owen, the nights on the booze with Wayne Rooney and now, for Ricky Hatton, there is the Oasis tour in Mexico.
Tom Jones has gently crooned the Manchester fighter into the ring, David Beckham always buys a ticket and on Saturday night the Gallagher brothers from Oasis, Liam and Noel, were by Hatton's side before and after his latest victory.
Now Hatton, who still drinks in a local pub near his home in Manchester and eats at his mother's house many nights each week, is set to join Oasis on stage for all three of their gigs in Mexico beginning on Wednesday in Mexico City. Hatton has been dubbed the "White Mexican" because of his fighting style and love of body shots and is likely to receive a warm reception in the boxing-mad nation.
Hatton and the Gallagher boys share a love of Manchester City and many years ago Hatton was part of the audience when Oasis performed at Maine Road. The respect between the boxer and the band is mutual but it is thought that Hatton forgot to let his girlfriend, Jennifer Dooley, know about the road trip.
The three working-class heroes from Manchester will fly to Mexico City today in preparation for the first of three gigs that end on Saturday in Monterrey.
Hatton is then expected back in Manchester for his traditional "shit" shirt party, which is always followed by a Caribbean cruise with an increasingly large contingent of his family.
"Richard has not changed and he never will change," insisted his mother, Carol. "He's had Gordon Ramsay at his house cooking a meal and the next night he's with me having steak pie. That is just the way he is – his fans will never let him get too serious."
Last year before Hatton knocked out Mexican idol Jose Luis Castillo it was the turn of Rooney to carry one of Hatton's belts into the ring and he was, according to the boxer, shaking as they paused before entering the arena. "I told him to behave and that it was me doing the fighting and that he had nothing to worry about," said Hatton.Reuse content