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Ricky Hatton Press Conference Interview Transcript

Click for larger image © Jane Warburton / Saddo Boxing

 Ricky Hatton Press Conference Interview Transcript  Ricky Hatton Press Conference Interview Transcript

Question: Is it fair to say, Rick, that by the time you get into the ring, you’ll weigh about 11 stone (154lbs)?

Ricky Hatton: "Yeah, a lot of people say “Has it been easier getting down to junior welterweight?'…. it has in a sense that I've got half a stone less but my muscles aren't as fatigued to get down to the 10 stone (140lbs) mark, but having said that - when I come out of the gym I'm frustrated for lifting heavier weights, so it can be harder for different reasons…I don’t want to be a bigger light welterweight, I want to be a bigger welterweight, you know, my performance in the gym has been a lot better because obviously having the extra nutrition, the extra weight-training to bulk up - so it has been different.

"I'll keep going as long as I can. You can see I've got a good team around me, close family and even the people around me in the gym from Billy to Kerry to Paul Speak. If Boxing stopped tomorrow we'd still be mates, there's enough people to tell me when the time's come - "y'know…your time's over.

"I think there's so many things I can do outside boxing like my after dinner speaking on the circuit like I do now, I'd like to become a trainer, maybe get a job like what Barry McGuigan does now - like a TV pundit and perhaps if I haven't got time on my hands and I'm busy I won’t be thinking about making a 'comeback'.

[At this point, trainer Billy Graham stops by to say "hurry up - he has got work to do y'know." ]

"If I can retire 'undefeated' ……I'd like to cement my place in boxing history. If people in the pub in 30 years remember Ricky Hatton - that would be nice, if they could say 'he was the best pound for pound boxer and retired unbeate'’ that would be good."

Q: In this game, there are boxers who are surrounded by their people who call them "Champ" all the time, no matter what. You're convinced that with the people that you've got - if you don't say it - they’ll say it.

RH: "Yeah, they'll tell me! I have got good people around me. The same people that were there from day one are still here now - they're no different and that's the way it should be. Apart from achieving in the ring I'd like to be thought of as a champion outside the ring, never 'slagged' anyone off, was always grateful and honest, never hid anything. I mean what's the point of being the best fighter in the world if everyone thinks you're a 'toss-pot'. So the whole thing is that when I come out of boxing I want everyone to be able to say that I was a good fighter and that's the way it was, I mean I haven't changed up to this point...so I don't expect to."

Q: Is that how you want people to perceive you then, that you're not a big-head, or….

RH: "I think so, to be honest a lot of people say to me was I disappointed that I've not been on terrestrial television, because even though you're a big name in boxing terms now, names like Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank - they're like household names because of terrestrial television.

"Terrestrial TV would have just made me more known and more popular, but to be honest - that's never been high on my agenda, if I can make my living in the ring and win all the belts that I could do but no one know me - then I'd rather have that! I mean, it would be an honour to go on a network like BBC or ITV or something like that but if it's just going to raise my popularity and make me become more well know, then to be honest that was never high on my agenda anyway.

"I'm not the sort that says 'roll out the red carpet, here I come' type of thing. I like to keep it simple. If I can achieve everything I want in my boxing and live contented with my family and my son...less fuss; you can give me that any day of the week."

Q: Is Rocky Marciano a particular hero of yours?

RH: "Well yeah, I think Marciano would be a hero of everyone - he's the yardstick of what every fighter should do. He cemented his place in history then retired and never came back. I think Marvin Hagler was another one…the last title fight in Boston was Marvin Hagler, who got beat by Sugar Ray Leonard and everyone thought he'd make a comeback but he said 'that’s it'. I think if more fighters did that, they’d be better fighters further down the line. Hopefully, I'll do the same."

Q: Billy just said (in the press conference) that the first time he saw you (as an amateur) - he told you you could do anything you wanted to do -did you believe him?

RH: "No. When I first started boxing and was winning national titles, I thought I was pretty good and then the top promoters, Frank Warren, Frank Maloney and Barry Hearn wanted me to turn professional with them. I thought 'well I must be doing something right here'….but I wouldn't have believed those years ago that I'd be sat here now discussing this, I always had confidence in myself to do well in my boxing but not quite as well as I've done. Billy was adamant - you know Billy's never short on words or speaking his mind - but he was telling everybody the minute he saw me as to what I could do and I thought well yeah, I can have a good crack at it."

Q: Were you happy that you’re going out to Boston early enough - a week?

RH: "Yeah, we discussed it and we were going to go out 2 weeks before but Billy said 'when you get there you'll be tired and a bit jetlagged so the last thing I'll want you to do is get off the plane and go straight in to 12 rounds of sparring and 15 rounds on the body-belt' and stuff like that. The last week you do your last hard training on the Friday (which I'll do this Friday on the bodybelt, 15 rounds in the gym) then I'll just wind down next week - I'll train but I'll really tone it down.

"It's not a particularly long flight, not like you need 3 planes to get you there, so I think a week is plenty. If it wasn't - then we'd have gone 2-3 weeks before, but Billy said last thing you want to do when you're knackered is get straight off the plane and get straight in to sparring."

Ricky was then asked about his traditional breakfast on the morning of the fight.

RH: "Full English! I had a word with the hotel!"

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