Ricky Hatton: 'As a fighter you always want to meet and beat the best'

World title bout against Luis Collazo looks tricky; I want to fight Floyd Mayweather as soon as I can; When I'm in training, I'm in 'the monastery'; Why my house is called Heartbreak Hotel; It was clear I'd be a better boxer than footballer


You are fighting Luis Collazo on 13 May for the World Boxing Association welterweight title. What are his strengths? He's not been the champion too long but he has speed, he is a southpaw and it will be difficult to look good against him. I've studied a few tapes. My trainer Billy [Graham] will take a closer look and then we will go over the fight. He's a well-kept secret, a stylish mover.

Why is the fight taking place in Boston? I signed a promotional deal with the American Art Pelullo, and the people in Boston wanted to bring a big fight to town. I know Wayne McCullough and Steve Collins fought there. It's a great city and I'm really looking forward to the fight.

Collazo is a southpaw. Does that make him trickier than usual? Yes, it does. Luis is tricky. But I have never lost to a southpaw as a pro and I'm not about to start now. We'll work on facing a southpaw in the gym. I have brought over an American sparring partner, who is a southpaw and he's sparred with Luis in the past.

If you beat Collazo, who is next in your sights? When I beat Luis I will fly out to America on 3 June to watch Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo in their third fight. I want the winner. I also want - and sooner rather than later - [Floyd] Mayweather.

You are an ardent Manchester City fan, but should Stuart Pearce be the next England manager? Stuart carried my belt into the ring when I boxed [Carlos] Maussa last year. He's done a great job at City but I don't see him as the next England manager. I do see him as a future manager when he's had a bit more experience.

Would you like Shaun Wright-Phillips back at City? Yes, definitely. I don't blame him for leaving because of the money. But he's not getting regular first-team play and I'd love to see him back. I wish that he had never left in the first place.

You admit to liking a drink, which is unusual in an athlete. Guilty! I do like a drink and I will have the occasional pint of Guinness after a fight. But, when I'm training I'm in the "monastery", as I call it, and I look forward to a drink at the end of the fight. It's how I prefer to unwind. I don't cut corners in training and I have the right to have a drink.

Do people in pubs ever want to have a scrap? No. People recognise me but nobody wants to fight with me. I drink in places that I've drunk in for years. I keep myself to myself.

When did you first meet James, your young fan with disabilities, and does he attend every fight? It was after the [Jonathan] Thaxton British title fight. I met him, knew he was poorly and wanted him to carry my belt; he still does it. He's an inspiration. Sadly, his doctor won't let him travel to Boston for the Collazo fight and I'm gutted. I will call him right after the fight.

What is your least favourite piece of equipment? I haven't got one. I have a love and hate relationship with everything and most of the people in the gym. I'm only joking about the people, I love them all. I know that every piece of equipment is a vital part of my preparation.

If you had a dinner party which four people from any point in history would you invite? Del Boy, Roberto Duran, Colin Bell and Demi Moore. I'd just sit back with a stupid grin on my face. But I wouldn't let Del Boy bring any 100 per cent guaranteed genuine Guinness brewed in Peckham. Cushdy.

What is on your iPod? The Red Hot Chili Peppers really work for me before a fight. I like James Blunt and I have to have Oasis because they are true Mancs. Happy Mondays, Stone Roses because I'm into the Manchester bands. And Elvis. I'm the King of karaoke, I've got a karaoke machine and disco lights and I'm trying to get hold of a fog machine. My house is called Heartbreak Hotel. I've got to have a bit of Elvis.

What are you reading now? I always read Boxing Monthly for Big Daddy's column!

On holiday are you a culture vulture, adrenalin junkie or beach bum? The sun don't agree with me. I just go pink and it's not a pretty sight. I like to stay in the shade and watch the world go by. If it's hot, and I'm with a some mates, and I've got a few beers, then I'm happy.

What is the most extravagant thing you have ever bought? I bought one of the Trotter's vans from the Only Fools and Horses Appreciation Society. I can't tell you what it cost but you know it makes sense. Lovely jubbly. I've also got a box at my beloved City.

Which victory are you most proud of? The win over Kostya Tszyu. He was a great champion and one of the best light-welterweight champions in history. I was the underdog. There were doubts, it was hard but I did it. What a night.

How do you wind down? When I'm not training and after a fight I go out with my mates. I try and live a normal life. People think that I'm joking but I do try and be as normal as possible. There are a lot people in the gym that help keep me acting normal. I love going to Vegas for fights? I'm also a fan. Did I mention that I like a beer?

Who has been the biggest influence on your career? Outside the ring, my parents, Ray and Carol. They have been there through the amateurs and the pros. They go through hell every time I step in the ring. I love them to bits. My dad is also my business manager. Inside the ring I've always admired the entertainers and my all-time favourite is Roberto Duran. I've also had Billy [Graham] at my side since the start of my pro career.

Should the referee have stopped the Calzaghe-Lacy fight? Possibly, but the corner had the chance to come in sooner. Lacy needed a knock-out and that was never going to happen. It was a great fight for Joe and British boxing.

Which fighter from history would you like to share a ring with? My hero Roberto Duran. What a fight that would be. As a fighter you always want to meet and beat the best.

What is your worst boxing memory? The World Junior Championships in Cuba in 1996. I beat the Cuban and the American but then I was stitched up. It was a disgraceful decision and there was an inquiry and some of the officials from my fight were suspended and have never worked at international amateur boxing events again. I think one of them was later shot because of what happened. [There were allegations of bribery at the tournament in which it was said envelopes containing money were given to officials. The sport's governing body held an inquiry and a Russian judge was later killed, allegedly because of the scandal].

Have you ever beaten your friend Phil "The Power" Taylor at darts? The best I managed was winning one set out of three in my local in Hattersley. I think he was just being generous because I've not come close since.

Attachment: The Ricky Hatton lowdown

* Born 6 October 1978 in Stockport. Lives in Hyde, Manchester.

Original job Carpet fitter.

Hobbies Darts and following Manchester City.

Sporting heroes Roberto Duran, Phil "The Power" Taylor.

* Nickname "The Hitman".

Height and weight 5ft 7in/10st.

Training base Phoenix Camp, Salford.

Trainer Billy "The Preacher" Graham.

* Career record 39 wins (29 KOs) 0 draws 0 defeats.

First professional contest 11 September 1997 v Colin McAuley TKO round 1.

WBO Intercontinental light-welterweight champion 29 May 1999 v Dillon Carew TKO round 5.

WBA Intercontinental light-welterweight champion 23 September 2000 v Giuseppe Lauri TKO round 5.

WBU light-welterweight champion 26 March 2001 v Tony Pepp TKO round 5.

IBF light-welterweight champion 5 June 2005 v Kostya Tszyu TKO round 11.

26 November 2005 made successful defence v Carlos Maussa TKO round 11.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Account Manager - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing, ambitious, en...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future
Berlusconi's world of sleaze: The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM

Berlusconi's world of sleaze

The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM
Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Films and theme parks are just the beginning. Disney believes its control of the now decades-old franchise can bring in merchandise and marketing millions for years to come
Could the golden age of the gaming arcade ever be revived in the era of the Xbox?

Could gaming arcades be revived?

The days when coin-ops were the only way to play the latest video games are gone. But a small band of enthusiasts are keeping the button-pushing dream alive
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The 'tampon tax' has inspired a new wave of female comedians to reclaim period jokes

Heard the one about menstruation?

Yes, if you have been at the Fringe, where period pieces are taking centre stage