Ricky “The Hit Man” Hatton - by Terry Pettifer
Britain's renowned Ricky "The Hitman"
Hatton, will arrive in South
Africa two days before Emperors
Palace's boxing extravaganza, "Night
of the Gladiators" on September 12.
Reflecting on Hatton's confirmed arrival,
Golden Gloves Promoter Rodney
Berman said, "We are really delighted
about Ricky's forthcoming visit and
judging by pre-advanced interest on the part of the media and public alike, feel that his presence will add a substantial degree of excitement and glamour to the tournament itself".
Moreover, Berman announced that
his recently crowned IBO world welterweight
champion Lovemore Ndou, who'll be defending his crown against Hatton's younger brother Matthew in England during October, will be traveling over from Australia –where he's been living for over a decade – to attend the star-studded Emperors
Palace event, which is headlined by Zolani "Untouchable" Marali defending his IBO world junior lightweight title against South Korea's Ji Hoon Kim.
"Lovemore will be fighting Matthew Hatton in October, but his real goal is to take on Ricky and the way he (Ndou) sees things a victory over the younger Hatton could inspire Ricky to come out of retirement in order to avenge his brother's defeat" said Berman. "Needless to say if that happens, a bout between the 37-year-old Ndou and Ricky Hatton would be a huge money-spinner, both here and in Manchester, where the Hatton's call home".
And what of the 31-year-old Hatton's
schedule ahead of the tournament
itself? "Ricky has agreed to a
press conference in the Convention
Centre at Emperors Palace shortly
after his arrival to field questions from
the South African press, which naturally
includes TV/radio and print representatives.
He will also attend the
official weigh-in the day before the tournament (Friday, September 11) where he'll be asked to do a 30- minute appearance "added Berman.
The CEO of Golden Gloves Promotions
also verified that the immensely popular
Brit will be signing autographs in front of the Monsoon Lagoon for an hour (15h00-16h00) at the conclusion of the weigh-in ceremony. "Then on the night of the tournament, Ricky will enter the ring prior to the main bout between Marali and Kim, before joining the SuperSport television crew of Brian Mitchell and Nick Collis to do live ringside commentary".
Berman indicated that Lovemore
Ndou's additional presence at ringside
could sizably spice up the likelihood of a prospective battle in 2010 between
the transplanted South African and
England's tenacious Hitman. "Right now that is only speculation but knowing
Lovemore as I do, he'll no doubt
be baiting Ricky with that broad, goldtooth
smile of his and predicting how
he'll smear his younger brother
Matthew all over the canvas in Manchester".
One of Britain's most admired
pugilists in years, Richard John Hatton
was born in Stockport, and though he
lost to both pound-for-pound greats
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao
by knockouts, those defeats
were the only setbacks he has had in
a professional ring career that has
spanned 12 years and 45 fights, (43-
2-0, 32 knockouts). A former IBF light welterweight, WBA welterweight, IBO
light welterweight and WBA super light welterweight world champion, Hatton's mystique is such that he's arguably one of the most alluring British fighters of the past fifty years.
"Ricky's inclusion as part of our TV commentary team is only fitting, and like Marvelous Marvin Hagler did in 1998, when he brought him over as a television analyst for our 'AmabuthoEmpi' production, I'm sure he'll prove to be a resounding success" concluded Berman.