Ricky Hatton has come out with a shocking outburst aimed at the sport that made him rich and famous. "The Hitman," now a promoter, is furious at how his brother Matthew's fight with former world champion Zab Judah has fallen apart. Ricky, in speaking exclusively with The Manchester Evening News, has come out and claimed that the action Judah took - when Zab made a demand of the younger Hatton to take the September 19th fight at light-welterweight instead of at welterweight - is another example of how politics and such like are ruining boxing..
Quite startling to hear, even if Ricky has a point with the Judah thing, are Hatton's claims that boxing is dying compared to UFC, which gives fans "proper fights."
Hatton told his local newspaper how disgusted he is at the actions of Judah, and in boxing in general these days.
"I look at boxing from a different angle now and it is dying a death compared to the fashionable Ultimate Fighting Challenge," Hatton said. "Matthew was taking all the risks [against Judah]. He was prepared to go out to Las Vegas to fight in Zab Judah's backyard. He was fighting against a former undisputed world champion - at a level much higher than he'd ever fought. He was taking all the chances and then they say they want to fight at 10-stone 3-pounds (143). They knew Matthew was 10-stone-7-pounds when they made the fight. There is no way he could drop four pounds.
"It's no wonder boxing is dying. Boxing is now full of people who talk the talk, but don't back it up. If you go to UFC you are seeing proper fights."
These words are the harshest Hatton has ever uttered about his sport, and it will be interesting to see how his fans react.
Ricky explained how he admires UFC so much these days.
"I'm a fan of UFC because it is all action, proper fighting," he continued. "They are going the right way about it to get people interested. There is a concern in boxing that UFC is taking its place. People seem to get more value for money. UFC would be right up my street but I think I will stick to boxing. I used to kick box so maybe I would be all right but boxing is brutal enough for me."
Hatton, of course, has still to decide whether or not he will fight on after suffering a devastating loss at the hands of Manny Pacquiao. Meanwhile, "The Hitman" will continue to stay busy promoting boxing shows of his own.
Ricky is not the only big name fighter to verbally come out with concerns about the general health of boxing recently, but does Hatton really think our great sport is in such bad shape compared to UFC? Or have the actions of Zab Judah and his team simply annoyed him into saying so?