Hatton backs Crolla to win RING 135-pound title
Former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton has backed Anthony Crolla to become the first Englishman to win THE RING magazine lightweight title when he faces Jorge Linares at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night.
Hatton landed THE RING junior welterweight title at the same venue in June 2005, when he forced Kostya Tszyu to quit after 11 thrilling rounds.
The “Hitman” will be ringside on Saturday night where Crolla aims to become Britain’s 18th RING magazine title winner and join Scottish legends Ken Buchanan and Jim Watt as winners of the prestigious strap in the 135-pound division.
Hatton’s fighting days are as memorable for his incredible fan base as his achievements in the ring, and the Manchester legend is delighted to see Crolla’s support growing as his own remarkable story continues.
“Where Anthony has come from is a great example,” said Hatton. “It’s not where you start in boxing, it’s where you finish. He lost a six-rounder early in his career and to Derry Mathews later on. Everyone wrote him off and to achieve what he has is a test of his character. I’m very proud of him.
“Anthony is a lovely kid; some say he is too nice to be a boxer but there is a mean streak there. He has developed into a good all-round fighter, he has a very exciting style and he’s a brutal body puncher.
Hatton continued, “I know he can do the business against Jorge Linares and I’ll be beaming with pride to see him lift that RING magazine belt. I won it 10 years ago division and it is the accolade that proves you are the best in your weight division, it is the ultimate achievement. It looks like the belt from the Rocky movies and its very old school which adds to the glamour of it.”
“There’s only one Ricky Hatton and there will only ever be one,” said Crolla. “If I can get a bit of the support and success that Ricky had I’ll be over the moon. The crowds at the Perez and Barroso fights were unbelievable and I am sure it’s going to be rocking on Saturday too.
“I’m just so proud that I’ve been able to pay the fans back for the incredible support I’ve received. I’m not the kind of fighter that will run his mouth at press conferences or call people out, but I will happily fight anyone. You can’t want it more than me, no-one does. I’m still taken aback by it all really, I’m just a normal lad that trains hard, but things are going well and the harder you train, the luckier you get.”
Information courtesy of a press release issued by Matchroom Boxing
Tickets for Crolla vs. Linares are on sale now at £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 and are available from the Manchester Arena, Tel: 0844 847 8000. VIPs tickets are exclusively available through Matchroom priced at £250. Face value tickets will also be available from Stubhub, the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.
Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing