‘The Hitman’ Ricky Hatton speaks about the joy of seeing his first trained fighter becoming a professional world champion.
Since his retirement a number of years ago, it has been well documented some that the UK boxing legend has contended with a number of outside the ring issues.
From battles with depression – to falling out with family members.
Ricky has spoken a lot in the past on the difficulty of transitioning from an active fighter to a retired one since hanging up the gloves.
He also felt he let his fans down when a story came out showing him taking a substance in a hotel room, but as any fans of Hatton will tell you, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
His in-ring accomplishments, incredibly loyal fan base and down to Earth personality will live on in boxing history forever.
But now he’s got some more things to look forward to in his post-fight boxing career too.
That is, his now thriving training career.
This past Friday Hatton had his first ever fighter trained by him become a world champion when Zhanat Zhakiyanov won a split decision over Rau’shee Warren to lift the WBA (Super) and IBO bantamweight titles.
Speaking on the immense pride it brought him this weekend, Hatton said:
“I’m very proud of Zhanat. He’s been with me a number of years and I always knew he’d be a world champion. It was similar to the Kostya Tszyu fight in that we knew he wasn’t going to out box Warren due to his natural talent and speed. I knew he would lose some of the early rounds, but if he kept on at him and kept him working, I knew our time would come down the stretch.”
Glowing words for Zhakiyanov from a former two-weight world champion no less.
Kazakhstan native Zhakiyanov is in a stacked division in bantamweight at the moment, so no doubt plenty of more big fights in the States and elsewhere await.
(Top image credit: Paul Speak)