Even though Ricky Hatton’s once-burgeoning professional stable may be a little depleted these days the ex-world champion is still optimistic about the future. World-rated middleweight Martin Murray became the latest boxer to jump ship recently and leave a group that once boasted the likes of Joe Murray and Scott Quigg. Hatton is now slowly rebuilding his empire with a new breed of talent that includes Ryan Burnett and the Upton brothers, Anthony and Sonny. Ricky is also busy getting fights for the international fighters he still holds on his books.
“I’ve got Zhanat Zhakiyanov who is fighting for the European title and Sergey Rabchenko has a date coming up soon to fight [Emanuele] Della Rosa in Italy,” he said. “I would like to get Sonny on one of those cards so he can gain experience. Fighting in different countries against different styles is the next game plan.”
Ricky revealed that he was extremely satisfied with the performance of welterweight starlet Sonny Upton. The 24-year-old posted an impressive four-round points win over Kevin McCauley on Gary Hyde’s February 15 show in Dublin and Hatton believes the youngster has put his debut loss down to experience.
“He fought a six-rounder straight off on his debut against a very tough opponent and I thought he won the fight,” argued ‘The Hitman’.
“He didn’t get the decision but it’s not about where you start your career it’s about where you finish it. If he’d flattened someone in a round then he wouldn’t have learned as much as he did and so many people have gone on to be champions or even world champions after losing an early fight. He was upset, his pride was hurt but I think he got a lot from it.”