Four-time world boxing champion Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton has been honoured with an award from the WBC in recognition of his career and charitable work.
Hatton was given a medal and commemorative plaque from the sanctioning body as part of its WBC Cares programme, which aims to help children across the world overcome issues such as bullying and encourage positive role models.
Former world welterweight champion John H Stracey made the presentation at a well-attended sportsman’s dinner in Bury on Friday night and Hatton’s pride was increased when he was told that it was the final accolade to be authorised by long-term WBC president Jose Sulaiman prior to his sad passing in January.
“Being recognised by the WBC for things I’ve done outside of the ring as well as in it makes me very proud,” Hatton said. “It’s always nice to receive awards, but the fact that this was authorised by the legendary Jose Sulaiman himself before he died makes it even more special.
“I’d like to thank John H Stracey for coming and presenting me with the award. John has always been a bit of a hero of mine so the WBC couldn’t really have picked anyone better to spring this on me.
“Although I was only the WBC International champion in my career, getting that green belt is something that every boxer aims for and I think it’s fantastic that such a famous world body is finding ways of giving back to underprivileged kids.”
John H Stracey, who now works as an ambassador for the WBC, said: “I was very proud to give Ricky the award. He’s a great British fighter and one of my favourites. He was overwhelmed because he didn’t win a WBC world title so it was amazing for him to still be recognised.
“Ricky has done a lot of good for boxing and when I got the call from Mexico asking me if I’d give him the award, I said yes straight away. It was an honour.”