BEEN THERE ALREADY AND WHAT A STADIUM
WEMBLEY stadium have offered Ricky Hatton the honour of becoming the first British fighter to box at the new £750 million venue.
The ‘Hitman’ cemented his reputation as the best light-welterweight in the world last weekend by destroying Mexican legend Jose Luis Castillo inside four rounds in Las Vegas, and Wembley’s owners are keen to make sure he fights there in October or November.
His options for such a showdown would be limited to three opponents, Floyd Mayweather junior, Miguel Cotto or Oscar de la Hoya.
While getting down to the welterweight limit might be a problem for De la Hoya, a match-up could be made with confidence for the other two.
Ultimately the Briton’s goal is to face Mayweather, who earned a split-points decision over De la Hoya last month. His promoter, Dennis Hobson, has offered “Pretty Boy” £6m to come over to Wembley.
Hatton, 28, said: “It would be every fighter’s dream to box at Wembley – no doubt about it. If it was a real ‘marquee’ opponent then you wouldn’t get much change from 60,000 spectators.
The name Wembley alone means so much to so many sports fans.
“My fight with Kostya Tszyu two years ago sold out 22,000 tickets in a few hours, so outdoors at Wembley would be
magnificent. I would love to fight there. It looks an incredible stadium and the name Wembley alone means so much to so many sports fans.
“Let’s face it, I’ve a better chance of getting there than Manchester City at the moment!”
The City fanatic added: “I have a few options with regard to my next fight, but Cotto excites me immensely and Mayweather is rightly regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world so I would start as an underdog against him. But I was underdog against Tszyu and look what I did to him.”
Promoter Hobson is in an enviable position as the ‘Hitman’s’ pulling power is remarkable, with 8,000 fans travelling to Las Vegas last weekend.
It was a second trip to Nevada for his supporters this year following Hatton’s victory over Juan Urango in January, and the camp is mindful that fans’ pockets have a limit.
Hobson said: “We’d love to do a deal to bring Ricky back for a ‘homecoming’ at Wembley. It would be a real honour for him and would mean a great night for British fight fans.
“Ricky has plenty of great fights left in him. He wants to box at Wembley and to headline at Madison Square Garden. I think, though, his ultimate aim is to de-throne Mayweather, and that is the kind of fight which people would love to see.
“Whether we can do it next up remains to be seen, but I have offered Mayweather a decent sum to fight him and we will be negotiating.”
These are heady days for British boxing, with two other fighters able to make claims as No1 in their division, Joe Calzaghe and Clinton Woods.
Hobson added: “If there was one sad note to the Las Vegas show it was Clinton pulling out through injury.
“Other than that it was perfect, with Matthew Hatton’s victory on the undercard now putting him amongst the bigger names in the welterweight division.”